In his book, Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari talks about how we, as human beings, have invented social constructs so that we can create order and certainty for ourselves.  We have called these social constructs ‘companies’ and ‘organisations’.  

The problem is that these ‘companies’ and ‘organisations’ don’t exist. Not physically. You can’t touch them. 

You can touch the buildings in which the people of those ‘companies’ work. Moreover, you can interact with the people that work for those ‘organisations’.

Physically, however, these ‘companies’ and ‘organisations’ only exist as inventions of our collective imagination.

This becomes a problem when people say things like:

  • “The organisation made a decision”; or
  • “I need to influence the company to …”.

No. The organisation did not make a decision. Someone who works for the organisation made a decision. That decision was made, by that person (or group of people), based on their interpretation of policy, culture and their relationship with the ‘organisation’. 

Also, because the company doesn’t make decisions, you cannot influence the company to do so.  Because individuals, or groups of individuals, make decisions, however, you can influence them.

So, if you’re having trouble influencing the organisation or company at the moment, give some thought to who the specific decision-makers are. They are the people you need to influence.

How you do that is a whole other story.