A company as a human body

A company as a human body

Many companies struggle to adapt to the rapidly changing world, especially in these times of economic uncertainty and multiple geopolitical tensions. Agility and resilience are therefore essential – but not all business roles contribute to this, plus there is sometimes insufficient alignment between the various departments. The analogy of the human body provides an enlightening insight into what constitutes a healthy company.

A healthy company is like a human body in peak condition. But how can you make a corporate ‘body’ this healthy? The answer lies in the individual body parts and their related functions, as described below.

The three main support functions within a company are Finance, Human Resources (HR) and Information Technology (IT). Finance can be thought of as the brain of the corporate body, the central control centre responsible for accounting, financial planning and analysis, budgeting and control, capital management, risk management and compliance audits.

Human Resources, in this analogy, forms the heart of the company, pumping blood (the employees) through the body and supplying the organs and tissues with oxygen and nutrients. With good circulation of blood, the chances of blood clots are low. The pool of employees should be diverse – just as blood contains red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma – each with their own function for the corporate body.

Lastly, the Information Technology department acts as the nervous system that communicates and coordinates activities of the body; for cybersecurity, it has senses and sensors that detect signs of possible threats, such as pain or changes in temperature (enterprise malware).

A healthy body is able to move forward. For that, you need two strong legs: Commerce and Supply Chain. In the past, Supply Chain was quite often seen as a support function for the business. But healthy, progressive companies rightly see Supply Chain as the counterpart of Commerce. When one leg is weaker, you walk with a limp. That is why Supply Chain is an equally strong leg in the corporate body, represented in the board.

Fill in your contact details below to receive the full article per email.

Download: Company as a human body