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June 2014

It’s about people management – not talent management!

Can you spot the talent in this photograph?

  Round table meeting

Of course you can’t! It just portrays a group of people. Yet doesn't talent management fundamentally try to do the same thing? That is why the pervasive focus on talent management is such a potentially dangerous fad.  

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People as Assets – A Practical Proposition

The challenge

Last week we looked at the statement “people are our greatest asset” and found that it was more than a cliché. The definition of assets substantiates the claim that employees are assets. Unfortunately, we also discovered that an “awful accounting mismatch”, actually reinforced by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), perpetuates your accounting for people as costs rather than as assets, making you an inadvertent, and even involuntary, hypocrite whenever you refer to them as assets, simply because accounting for them as costs inevitably means managing them as such.

The remedy is simple. You have to start accounting for people as assets. Only then will you start managing them as such and so rectify the anomalies that this “accounting mismatch” creates. So our first challenge is to figure out what accounting for people as assets entails, before we embark on changing GAAP!

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People as Assets – Fact or Fiction?

Alignment“People are our greatest/most important assets!”

How often have you heard that? It has become rather a cliché. But how much validity does the statement have? What does “people are our greatest assets” actually mean? Does it mean anything at all?  

To start to answer this you need a clear definition of what an asset is and then decide whether a person can be one.

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Leadership made easy

The Crisis of our Times

As mentioned in my last blog, leadership appears to be one of the big issues of our times. Certainly laments for its lack, in both politics and business, as well as the plethora of writing on the subject in books, newspapers and magazines, suggest this.

Time for leadership 13943461_sIt is possible, however, that this is simply the consequence of a world that has become too complicated, too fast-paced and too pressured – leaving us with a desperate need for new ways of surviving.  Our inability to cope with the demands of daily life has us looking for someone who can lead us out of the wilderness and reduce the stress; and the inability to find such people leaves us bemoaning a dearth of leadership, simply because we don’t know where else to look or what to blame.

Theodore Roosevelt’s words, “The leader leads and the boss drives,” hint at this. Stress comes from being driven beyond the point at which you are comfortable and the pressure of modern life suggests that we are being driven rather than led. Of course they also imply the solution: hence the quest for new leaders and ‘better’ leadership.

Unfortunately, while telling us the ‘what’ of the solution, Roosevelt’s words do not help much with the ‘how.’ Yet their simplicity suggests that it is not as difficult as it seems.  

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