This blog is my love letter to corporations.
I fell deep and hard for corporations during my 12-year relationship working for a Fortune 100 corporation.
Just out of college in 2006, they provided me with a yearlong sales and technology training that equipped me with a skill set that made me virtually hirable to anyone. I was paid more than fairly, which allowed me to pay off my student debt and buy my first home in Washington, DC at 23. When I was attacked just outside my friend’s apartment in broad daylight, my company’s Employee Assistance Program provided therapy and support that helped me recover from this extremely traumatic event. In 2010, I enjoyed a first-class plane ride to a vacation in Hawaii at the Four Seasons for our Presidents Club. My cell phone bill and mileage were paid for, even though my phone and car were not used solely for work purposes. This small-town girl from the ‘mushroom capital of the world,’ Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, got to feel like a princess when attending various black-tie galas events on behalf of her employer. When my panicked sister called me 8 hours before giving birth, I was able to book a last-minute flight arriving that evening, where I had the ability to remotely work for the next week. My amazing health insurance provided me world class care through an autoimmune issue that financially ruins and debilitates many. I got to experience working on global teams, exposing me to diverse cultures and helping me appreciate how the rest of the world works. I had access to as much world class training as I wanted to make time for. I got to shake hands with President Bill Clinton, I sat 5 feet away from Sting and Keith Urban at small private concerts, and I had executives that truly invested in me, providing opportunities and exposure to experiences that my self-employed father never had. I got a brand-new computer of my choice every other year. As a childof divorced parents, I had finally foundthestructureI'd always wantedin this consistent environment. In 2014, When I needed to move for a relationship, they transferred me. In 2016, When I needed a new challenge, I had the opportunity to find it. I got so much paid vacation time that I had accrued 280 hours.
Independent of my experience, corporations provide unparalleled economies of scale, support a healthy economy, and, through R&D create innovative new solutions that save lives, reduce suffering to make it easier to be a human. The amount of influence they have is unmatched, as they impact laws, economy, customers, suppliers, eco-systems, employees, and family members of those employed.
How companies take care of employees, source supplies, and even the value statements and missions have impact and create a ripple effect unlike any community on Earth. From a numbers perspective, just compare the GDP of countries verses companies, and you’ll see that most companies are truly more powerful and influential than governments.
At their core, corporations are a community. The word “corporation” is derived from the Latin word “corpus” for body and represents a body of people authorized to act as an individual. Cities were the first entities the Romans treated as corporations, existing to serve a public purpose. A community of energy driving towards a common goal for the greater good.
Even in our age of telecommuting, the work environment remains the strongest community to which we belong. Think of the popularity of working from a coffee shop or the growth of rental office communities like WeWork.
It is invigorating to have a diverse group of people and energy moving towards a common goal.
It is equally demoralizing when the power of individuals to create change within these organizations has been vastly misunderstood and diminished.
The word “company” has its roots in “companion” or “bread fellow,” which is someone with whom we break bread with. Initially designed to bring people together for the greater good, companies now -- with a few exceptions -- have evolved (or devolved) into having one purpose: making money.
Making money is NOT the problem.
It only becomes so when corporations forget they also have responsibilities and opportunities beyond the bottom line, as well as to the individuals who comprise them.
The past 30 years have been dominated by our access to information, data, analysis, results, metrics, and bottom lines. Companies justified closing down plants in small towns and relocated to where they can exploit workers, ultimately leading to higher returns. We have unfortunately experienced a ‘results and growth rationalize anything’ mentality, even if it means sourcing environmentally hazardous supplies and treating people as numbers.
Most of us can no longer operate in a workplace with a severe lack of social consciousness and an absurdly stressful daily grind as we unsuccessfully keep up with the information overload and incredible pace of change.
Individuals are suffering. Corporations are suffering.
I believe that we have the opportunity, honor, and responsibility to be open to change. In fact, it’s our responsibility not to run away from the situation or to allow bad behavior to hide under the blanket of “Common Corporation.”
Individuals make up corporations, and individuals can create change. We are the solution.
Open Deltas, the name of this movement and blog, literally means “open to change.”
This blog will provide an updated language, processes, and toolkits to inspire the mindful and conscious leaders that we are and help encourage millennial leaders as they take the helm. This blog aims to inspire you to support a new business age where corporations not only enable but speed the paradigm shift that will lead to ripples of positive change for everyone.
This blog is my love letter to corporations.