A Winning Model for Human Resource Management
“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes
The CEO stood at the podium and declared once again to the staff gathered for the annual all-company meeting: “Our people are our greatest asset.” And the audience sighed inwardly because they knew it was bullshit. A worn-out cliché that becomes more hypocritical with each use. They think, “If people are indeed our greatest asset, then why have training budgets been slashed again? And if I’m truly valued here, why am I working longer than ever but for less pay? And what about Frank in accounting? He’s not an asset – that jerk is a liability!” or some variation. Rarely do companies back up their “our people are #1” rhetoric with demonstrable, consistent actions.
Perhaps there’s no better way to mask a self-evident truth like “value your people because ultimately your value comes from them” than through over-worn clichés and empty rhetoric. It’s a shame because if you’re going to build a thriving organization, you’re not going to do it through strategy, systems, branding, sales, market share and efficient use of capital – you’re going to do it by building and re-building a winning team. Everything in your organization traces itself back to the people involved. It’s the people who define the strategy, design and implement the systems, conduct the branding, engage in sales, capture market share, and deploy capital. People are indeed your most important asset.