Dan Maxwell
January 10, 2017

It’s common to say: people are your most important asset. What’s not so common is putting it into practice.  Granted, it’s easier to crunch numbers, flip switches, and write policies.  People have problems, they think for themselves, and they are all different.

Richard Foster – Flikr

A more recent success story demonstrating the value of applying this principle has been Netflix. Former head of talent, Patty McCord shared in HBR valuable lessons on putting it to work.  We can do the same in our own organizations.

First, we have to be clear about what it means.

The term “asset” comes from the world of financial accounting where it represents something of value which can be used to leverage growth. People have their own inherent value, but for a business they are the decision makers, communicators, initiators, problem solvers, strategic thinkers, facilitators, team players, analyzers, processors, and implementers.  In other words they provide all the natural abilities required by any organization.

Then we need to understand how people make the difference.

While machines have done much to replace labour and artificial intelligence will further automate certain processes, human personality and intelligence can never be replaced wherever and whenever there are decisions to be made, relationships to be maintained, and creativity to be applied. However, the most effective management tools and manufacturing processes invented to date all require people to monitor and maintain them.  The right people use them effectively; the wrong people render them useless.

Ultimately, we need to be convinced of why it’s such an all-important principle.

Any organization that provides a product or service, interacts with customers or suppliers, or operates equipment, needs people i.e. all businesses across all industries.

Without people:

  • organizations can’t develop,
  • companies won’t grow,
  • businesses don’t do business.

If people are truly an organization’s most important asset, then the right people are an organization’s most significant choice, and drafting the right model for their position, an organization’s most valuable exercise.

Pro.file provides organizations a set of strategic management tools to outline the ideal personality for any position, measure the real personality of any candidate – and match the two. Insights gained have helped Owners, Managers and HR professionals make better hiring decisions, identify core issues, and experience the success of self-motivated people in roles that match their natural abilities.

Are people truly your most important asset?  If not, 2017 is a new opportunity to make it so.