Doing the business with people attached

first_img Comments are closed. In the worrying, but heart-warming Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol, Scroogetries to reassure his one-time commercial partner that his success in businesswas all that could be expected of him. Marley, ghostly and in chains, answersthat “mankind was his business”, a business that he had almost completelyignored. As we move towards another Christmas, and a new year, these words have neverbeen more relevant. Mankind is our business. People are our business. All change in human society happens on an individual basis. One by one byone. We have to see the benefits before we will change our behaviour. It’s a human trait that can be frustrating for politicians and for managerswho sometimes want to be able to change behaviour as easily as writing companyprocedures or new laws. They struggle to know how best to spend the time that money can buy. Theyfind that the time that is available comes with people attached to it. Oh No!People with ideas, hopes, prejudices, anxieties, and preferences. People whoneed to believe in something before they will try and need to understand howthey fit in before they can succeed in working with others. As David Smith, people director at Asda, explained to me about releasingpotential: “This people stuff is difficult. If we want to be trusted, wehave to listen, and change based on what our people tell us. To gain loyalty wehave to remove status, and this is personally unattractive to people in power.And yet it’s the only way – which is why so few companies have made the journeythat we have.” So much has changed. Technology has become human sized – attempting toenhance, rather than replace, human capabilities. Science has becomehuman-focused – revealing our wonderful interdependence and limitlesspotential. It would be wise for you who are charged with understanding the humancondition and human potential to make some new years resolutions. Lead yourcolleagues to the conclusion you have reached – that mankind is your business.That unshrinking the potential of your people is the edge your organisation islooking for. My research has revealed that normal, ordinary people can design their ownjobs, determine their own priorities, vote for who to hire, fire, and how toreward the teams; they can formulate strategy, and create innovations, new products,and even new companies. The most influential people in your profession havemade it clear that there are extraordinary people inside all organisations justwaiting to get out. And you need them. People are infinitely expandable and they are much more fun than machines atthe Christmas party – with the exception, of course, of the photocopier andthose sexy new video phones. By Max Mckeown, Author and business consultant Previous Article Next Article Doing the business with people attachedOn 9 Dec 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more