Jack and Suzy Welch hit a home run in The Wall Street Journal in Corporations are People, 7/15/12.
Of course corporations are people. What else would they be? Buildings don’t hire people. Buildings don’t design cars that run on electricity or discover DNA-based drug therapies that target cancer cells in ways our parents could never imagine.
Buildings don’t show up at a customer’s factory and say, “We won’t leave until we solve your inventory problem.” Buildings don’t encourage their employees to mentor inner-city kids in math and science. Buildings don’t fund homeless shelters in Boston or health clinics in Rwanda. People do.
But most individuals working in corporations are regular people, people just like you and your friends and neighbors. People who want to make a living and want to make a difference.
And while they’re doing that, people in corporations do indeed love and cry and dance. If you don’t know that, you’ve never been part of a team that has pulled together over coffee and late nights and shouting and laughing and created something amazing to hit a deadline. You’ve never been in the room when a longtime client says it’s not working anymore and she’s taking her business to your biggest competitor. You’ve never sat in the lunch room when someone runs in and says the new medical device that no one thought had a chance, the little heart valve or something like it that every engineer in the place has been working on for two years, has just passed its first human clinical trials with flying colors.
In such moments—moments that happen every single day—you can see and hear and feel that corporations are people. That’s all they are.
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