Imagine with me for a moment…
What if people mattered to the success of a business?
What if people were a crucial part of delighting customers and ensuring return business?
What if people were necessary to create and invent and innovate?
What if people used their experience and judgment to make decisions that affect outcomes?
What if people each had their own strengths, weaknesses, goodness, and extremes?
What if people each had their own interests, dreams, desires, and constraints?
What if people weren’t all the same and couldn’t be removed and replaced like gears on a machine?
What if people were sometimes employees, sometimes shareholders, or sometimes customers? What if they were sometimes all three at once?
What if people were complex and unpredictable and that sometimes leads to brilliance?
What if people were complex and unpredictable and that sometimes leads to disaster?
What if people had their own lives going on and didn’t live or die for the organization?
What if people weren’t all like you?
What if people were different and that difference might create strife, conflict, chaos, energy, synergy, and great leaps forward?
What if people had uniqueness that was both their biggest strength and worst weakness?
What if people were necessary to get work done?
What if people need businesses less than businesses need people?
What if people were required to interpret data and make decisions and take actions based on sound judgment, intuition, and wild guesses?
What if people invented and built all the technology that changes business?
What if people wanted to feel safe, respected, liked, and valued?
What if people made decisions and took actions based on their feelings and emotions and only used logic and reasoning to justify their decisions and actions?
What if people didn’t always act in their own best interests?
What if people sometimes do stupid things?
What if people were more loyal to people than to the initials inc., llc., gmbh., or ltd.?
What if people and the relationships they have with other people generated more business than spreadsheets?
What if people were necessary to dream up, make, deliver, and improve the products and services your business sells?
What if people were a crucial part of creating compelling messages, attracting and assisting customers, and growing the business?
We’re still just imagining here… But what if some – any – of this were actually true? What if people, in all their complex, irrational, unpredictable, humanness, were actually crucial to business results?
Would that change the emphasis on how much effort you put into finding and hiring the right people?
Would you put a different level of priority on your efforts to develop and improve the people you invested in by hiring?
Would the employee experience become important?
Or, if you knew people were actually a prime competitive advantage, would you pretend they weren’t and spend your time, energy, and money on other things?