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FactoryJoe: “I Represent Me”

FactoryJoe makes this interesting suggestion:

“I suggest that individuals represent themselves first as people and second as employees, if at all. Furthermore, that corporations are increasingly only a figment of law that will eventually become less relevant as individuals decide to work on loosely joined, distributed, collaborative projects. Give it 20 years, you’ll see.”

His overarching point from his blog post is:

“I don’t represent my employer, who I choose to work for represents me.”

Chris (FactoryJoe) justifies the above view by pointing out that the company he works for (Flock, in his case) is only as good as him and the other people that work for it. Flock represents the quality of “his efforts, his work and his intelligence” – and that of his colleagues.

I think it’s a valid view, and certainly useful fodder for pushing back on the perpetuating view in fact that you represent your employer.

Chris is of course in a unique position – he works for a small start-up where his efforts can be clearly picked out from their product (he designs their UI). But even for people working in a large company, I don’t think it’s unfair for people to feel they have a right to their own identity.

What do other people think?

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Published in Thoughts and Rants


  1. Hi Ben,
    I think what Chris expresses marks the transition from a hierarchical view of an organisation to a networked view. In a network you not only represent me, if we work together, but I also represent you. Chris counterbalances the known view of employees representing the company they work for with the view of the company also being the sum of the individual indentities of its people. I’d say: we represent eachother. Blogged it at the link provided.

  2. I completely agree and in fact recently posted that offices, and by extension organisations, are increasingly bcomeing as much a liability as a benefit.

  3. Daro Daro

    Here in Japan people still often (although the trend is dying out) introdice themselves as (e.g.) “Mitsubishi’s Mr. Tanaka”. The intro overtly implies that that person takes his job seriously enough to summate his own identity. “I’m a Mitsubishi guy”, basically. It’s not as bad as you might think! It means products you buy are top quality, you go home each day with a sense of inner-satisfaction and high self-worth, you get paid about 2x what British residents get, and best of all – minimal bulsh1t office politics – leaving you to focus on the task you were hired for. Britain and especially the USA’s mantra of “No-one can know me; I’m a unique individual who cannot be defined in any way whatsoever”, is nice and idealistic an’ all, but it means dealing with personalities and workplace egos before you can get started on any damn thing…

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