It’s creepy, this shadow employer and personal brand combo world.
A company that you can set up with as little as $600, with no proper identification, one that you can then rent a board and faux investors for, creating a shell company that you can run, anonymously, and sell whatever products and services you want — without paying corporate taxes in the United States — the proverbial
offshore tax shelter we hear about in Belize or Seychelles or Cyprus or the Cayman Islands that we loathe yet secretly envy, without legal repercussions unless you’re investigated and subpoenaed by the very country that allows, some would argue encourages, these kinds of shady yet perfectly legal business entities.
Breathe — wait for it — the United States of America. According to a recent report from
NPR Planet Money and a New York Times editorial by Adam Davidson, the United States is the easiest place to set up a shadow company, with at least four states requiring no proper identification at all, which is against international law established by the United States and Europe.
This isn’t a political indictment
per se; this is an unfortunate reality check that the best of business brands will do anything it can to play an overly complex and outdated tax and regulatory system, as opposed to transforming the economic climate into a more transparent interaction that improves global commerce and job creation.
But as I wrote last week, if it wasn’t for those pesky, messy, meddling humans, the world of work would actually work flawlessly. We’d work together happily and collaboratively, without deceit, harassment or discrimination. We’d all be accountable and personally responsible and have each other’s backs, we’d have reciprocal respect with our leaders, and reality TV would not be a reality.
However, that’s not our reality, although we spend an awful lot of progressive thought leadership time focused on enlightened and aligned personal and employer brands. Not a bad thing, mind you — but is being a maligned employment brand all that bad, especially if you’re legitimately conducting business via offshore accounts instead of being what’s called a “shelf company,” which is nothing more than a name and a URL sitting on a shelf to protect money transactions later?
If you’re employing folks who would otherwise not be employed, who you’re paying so in turn they’re keeping shelter over head and food on the table, and maybe even paying them under the table so even they’re skirting taxation, their personal brands will somewhat align with their employers’ because basic needs are satiated. Yes, it helps if they’re okay with the work they do too, but even then we forgo much happiness and ethical considerations when survival is critical.
Sorry to bring you down, kids, but the international community could do much to alleviate these shadow woes, again improving our progressive goals of ever-enlightened and aligned employer and personal brands while improving the way we conduct business and our global economic practices. That
dirty little tango secret starts with us.
Speaking of us, all of us, thank you for joining the TalentCulture #TChat conversation yesterday. As usual, your tweets were smart and inspired. Following is a slide show of Top 20 Tweet Tango. We’ll see you next week!
Image Credit: Pixabay
[ View the story “Your #TChat Top 20 Tweet Tango: “Employer and Personal Brands do the Tango”” on Storify] Your #TChat Top 20 Tweet Tango: “Employer and Personal Brands do the Tango”
Storified by TalentCulture · Wed, Aug 29 2012 21:42:00
Your #TChat Top 20 Tweet Tango: “Employer and Personal Brands do the Tango” http://pic.twitter.com/ASBMf7loSean Charles
#TChat PreChat: Should the person tweeting from the company twitter be mentioned in Bio? Final: 42% answered with #Yes http://pic.twitter.com/ag6w5s69Sean Charles
Q1: What is the essence of an employer brand? #TChatSusan D. Strayer
A1: The people and nothing but the people. #tchatRob McGahen
A1 A company’s employees are its greatest asset. Their personal commitment to the company is reflected by a company’s ‘personality’. #tchatRutterNetworkingTech
A1 It seems it is somewhat like an “elevator pitch” only 1000 x more powerful. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Q2: How have innovations in technologies altered employees’ relationships with their employers’ brands? #TChatSusan D. Strayer
A2: Amplication of brand for employee and employer. Crossover and conflict potential greater too. #tchatJon M
A2 There are more outlets of communication for the the employee, and therefore more opportunities to listen, for the #Brand. #TchatViralheat.com
A2: More platforms, more ways to connect. Can be a double edge sword, communication is only as good as the human behind the screens #tchatJen Olney
Q3: Which needs the other more, employee personal brands or the employer brand? Why? #TChatSusan D. Strayer
A3: in the Branding process there should be a blend btw employer brand shaped by personal brand and org characteristics #TChatNissrine Ghannoum
A3) if you work for a company with a strong nationally recognized brand, your brand is defined (in part) by the mother ship #tchatRich Grant
A3: Is it not the entire #leaderships’ responsibility and the company teams’: culture is omnipresent. #tchatLori King
Q4: What does it look like when employers’ brands exist dynamically & positively with employees’ personal brands? #TChatSusan D. Strayer
#TChat A4 Always ensure your are aligning your strategic communication goals & core brand messages w/ your social media policy.Avi Lambert
A4: When organisational and individual brands converge in a uniform way it demonstrates authenticity #TchatMark Keane
A4. Employer & personal brands that are united draw the pubic in. Their coexisting state is a number one marketig tool. #tchatBeverly Davis
A4) I’m getting the image of a 10-person marketing firm.. nimble responsive… everyone pointing in the same direction #tchatRich Grant
Q5: How can leadership right an employer brand when employees’ personal brands reveal a toxic workplace culture? #TChatSusan D. Strayer
A5: toxic employee brands reveal poor leadership, poor communication and/or lack of recognition by the employer. Time 4 chng #tchatJohn T. Lawrence
A5 employER brand are out date but employEE brands aren’t! Implicit social media peeps!!! #tchatInsight72
#TChat A5 Look at yourself & elements of your brand, any toxic cultures I have found myself in usually flowed downstream from the top.Benjamin Moore