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Adaptability: Key to Sustained Organisational Success

Realise Your Greatest Asset

Eager to contribute 123rf.com_116546878_s“Our people are our greatest asset” How often have your heard that statement from an organisational leader? I bet you have and more than once! Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself.

Yet, how much do you believe it?

No doubt everyone who says it means it sincerely. But how much scepticism does it garner?  Especially amongst the employees concerned? The fact is that it is a dangerous statement to make because, unless you actually account for, manage and treat your people as assets, calling them assets simply makes you a hypocrite!

It doesn’t matter how nicely you treat your people, or how considerate you are to your employees, you ultimately account for, manage and treat them as costs. Of course that’s not your fault. It is traditional accounting convention. But, like it or not, that unavoidably makes you a hypocrite. But that’s not it’s only short-coming.

As Seth Godin pointed out in a recent blog, no matter how much you are likely to blame the employee you are dealing with for unsatisfactory service, it is ultimately more likely to be the boss’ fault. As Godin says, this may be because the boss “didn’t design the system properly, didn’t align incentives, didn’t invest in training.”  Perhaps this indicates that the boss “isn’t listening”. The result may well be that employees are “undertrained, under-resourced or overscheduled” as Godin intimates.

His statement that employees “don’t have to suffer in silence” is, however, worth challenging.    

Of course people are more likely to remain silent if the boss “isn’t listening.” Nor is there much incentive to speak up when you are “undertrained, under-resourced or overscheduled.” The fear then is that you will just be replaced or else find yourself with more work to do. Such environments are just as distressing and demotivating as the early industrial age factories. Disengaged people are just as likely to remain silent as browbeaten people.  

The bonds of top-down management and the one-way communication it evokes may be being challenged, but they are by no means broken. Accounting for, managing and treating people as costs perpetuates top- down management. So until you break away from that convention you will never be the leader you want to be. Only when you put flesh on the bones of your statement that “Your people are your greatest asset” and account for, manage and treat them as costs will you achieve the results that you are aspiring towards. Only then will you truly enable the peer-to-peer organisation that delivers delightful customer experience and optimum organisational results.   

My unique ‘Every Individual Matters’ Model offers you that opportunity. It offers you something that nothing else does. It addresses and solves the decades old challenge of how to account for, manage and treat people as assets and thus provides the ‘reinforcement’ to the ‘concrete’ of all your other HR or people management efforts.


If you like what you have read contact me today to explore how my original thinking could help you break though logjams that are inhibiting your business or how my ‘Every Individual Matters’ Model could help you value your people and provide the catalyst to help you create an organic culture where everyone cares and the business becomes our business, embedding continuous improvement that engenders ‘love at work’ and transforms – and sustains – organic business performance.


Bay Jordan

Bay is the founder and director of Zealise, and the creator of the ‘Every Individual Matters’ organizational culture model that helps transform organizational performance and bottom-line results. Bay is also the author of several books, including “Lean Organisations Need FAT People” and “The 7 Deadly Toxins of Employee Engagement” and, more recently, The Democracy Delusion: How to Restore True Democracy and Stop Being Duped.


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