The Company We Work At Is More Important Than The Country We Live In.
Given how work is a major cog in the system of our life, it seems highly possible to conclude that a company is a nation of it's own.
Sure, the country you reside in has various responsibilities like the economy, healthcare, education etc..
But, on a direct level, the company you work for can influence your micro day-to-day. It can impact your ability to receive healthcare, go on vacation, the social group that will make up your peers, your financial situation in the short and long term, how you are perceived externally and much more.
I think it's a known fact that Canadians as a group are identified as being "nice" people. By similar identifications, one can say people at Google are "smart".
The company will create its own tribe (i.e. Googlers, Bainees etc...). For larger companies, this tribe crosses geographical boundaries. Thanks to the internet and globalization of the economy, it's not far-fetched to say that more and more companies will surpass geographical boundaries and house employees of multiple nationalities.
This might be far-fetched but with wars no longer being fought for geographical boundaries and rather for economic power, I could see a future where it's companies fighting for economic powers rather than countries. Look at South Korea. It may not be a known thing for outsiders but there are plenty of people within the country who believe Samsung's controlling Lee family runs the country. Depending on how you look at who holds economic power, one can see it that way.
Executive Teams As Leaders of Nations.
It's no surprise to say that Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are more powerful than the leaders of many nations. But if I were to get even more granular and specific: To my friend who is an accountant at a Big 4 accounting firm, her partner will have more power over her short and long term life than the Prime Minister of Canada.
There is no work/life balance. There is no "compartmentalization" of work and life. Whatever happens in your job will impact all aspects of your life. It will directly impact the safety of your family, it will impact your social group, it will impact your mental state in and out of office, your overall health and what the next steps of your career will be. There are obviously more but I'm just listing off the other obvious ones.
With that outlook, the leaders of the company are no different than the leaders of the country you reside in. Argumentatively, they may be even more influential as change can be made rather swiftly and can have a more direct impact on your life than that of the state. Well, if you worked for the government then I guess this would be different. But then again, when has a country without not run by a dictator ever had an efficient and effective government? Just a grumpy old man's opinion here.
Changing Perspectives For Behaviour.
The reason I write this is to create a sense of re-frame on how we view companies.
What if we viewed each company we chose to work at as moving to a different city or country? Moving to an environment with its own set of rules, people, and culture. An environment with different economic focus and priorities compared to where we were before.
You can research companies all you want by facts and stats but it's one thing to actually live there compared to reading about it. Luckily, the process of changing companies is less arduous than moving to a different country. However, most companies are run with a dictator. This is more so the case the smaller the company is. The upside is that if the company is run by a benevolent dictator (i.e. great leader) then you're in for a treat because your tribe may do well. But if it's run by a crook then you will suffer with your tribe.
This perspective shift is not only the responsibility of the employee but also the people leading the company. Shouldn't a responsible company consider creating processes to help it's people thrive? If it were to take on the persona of a country then should it not be held accountable to some degree for influencing the well-being of it's people?
All too often one hears: "It's not personal, it's just business."
Business is 100% personal. It can't be anything but personal. If companies have more influence on the lives of its employees than nations do, then they need to be accountable for the well-being of their people. If companies understood the material role they played in the lives of their people, then the creation of systems for their people's well-being should be one of the top prioritizes.
It just seems like common sense. Maybe that's why it's not so common.