Is a business a person?
It’s a question I’ve asked companies for the last decade when supporting their brand development. After all, a defined brand includes adjectives to describe a company’s personality.
Think fun, bright, and engaging with Google. Or professional, communicative and articulate for LinkedIn.
Diving deeper into the actual definition of a corporation in Canada, we learn that a corporation has the same legal rights as a person. It’s a live entity that can enter into contracts, build relationships, and commit and be found guilty of crime.
If the law provides a corporation with the same rights as a person, should we, as owners and leaders, not treat our businesses as such? Should we stop thinking of business personhood as a fun branding exercise and think of it instead as one that allows us to nurture the business through our people?
All beings – live entities – require specific things in their ecosystems to grow, thrive, and develop for success and failure. Just as people have to grow, evolve, and develop resiliency for life’s successes and failures, so do businesses.
Businesses, from sole proprietors to a large corporations, are founded on the same ingredients. They’re just put together differently – exactly as human genes are.
As all bodies are different in their unique nutrient, exercise and chemical makeup, so are all businesses. Your business requires its individual cells to be physically healthy and capable of adapting to change.
Ask yourself: what do the individual cells (your people) in the business need to do/have to do to successfully support the overall health of the business?
This falls into three areas: mind, body and soul.
Resources for a healthy mind
The individual makeup of your people’s minds is what creates a healthy, psychologically-safe environment and unique skill sets. This directly impacts your company’s ability to innovate and evolve as required with changing economies and markets.
Connect one-on-one with your team to understand what each individual needs to further their learning and growth. If you’re a sole proprietor, set aside time to do this for you.
Understanding the individual requirements to keep your business mind healthy helps to keep its neurons firing on all levels.
Resources for a healthy body
Encourage movement, frequent breaks and minimal time needed for all the Zoom meetings. The sitting desk culture of 9 to 5 is simply not healthy.
While the ease of sitting and working straight through is there, especially with more people working from home, it’s crucial to encourage breaks at least every 45 minutes to allow the body to stretch, the eyes to relax and the brains to breathe.
Coffee is also not the only fuel source. Encourage nutrient-rich foods that re-energize and lots of water.
Resources for a healthy soul
People are wired for connection. This goes right down to the very cells that form our bodies. Remove connection from your business entity and your business is more likely to become depressed or show symptoms of depression.
Encourage conversation with your people. Let them know you’re there to listen and support them. Be intentional with creating opportunities for your team to connect on a deeper level. This, ultimately, helps the overall health of your business.
Ultimately, a business is a person. Just as our bodies have different organs for specific purposes, so does each business department. The heart doesn’t do the work of the kidneys but we must care for both for our bodies to properly function. Human resources and finances are different, but both must be cared for for a business to properly function.
Knowing that businesses are considered legal beings, ask what’s missing in your corporation to help it operate at its optimal level.
What if you started to fuel your business as you do your person? Share your insights and questions with Lindsay. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Harle-Kadatz is a brand and content strategist supporting small businesses in the mental wellness of their business brand. Follow Lindsay on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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