In most organizations the word “asset” is linked to their technology IP, products or other items that end up on the balance sheet. The traditional accounting equation drives this mindset. So it’s no wonder that when organizations plan their investments they focus on improving their traditional assets and their bottom line.
In my recent article published in The Pragmatic Marketer I assert that in any company or organization, the real assets are the people. Their intellect—along with personality, skills, knowledge, character, integrity, and other things collectively referred to as “human life value”—create the true value in any organization.
When it comes to investing in the company or organization, it makes sense to invest in the real assets – the people. For most organizations, investing in people requires a change in mindset. Norman Wolfe wrote a great post called The Challenge of Investing in People. He says:
In every business, at the end of the day it is the people who produce results (I have yet to see a machine or a process produce anything without people). While it is easy to see expenditures in the “feel good stuff” as wasting resources, the real challenge lies in the difficulty to determine if the investment will produce the result. The proof is in the results, but how do I know that my investments will in the end improve results.
What examples have you seen where organizations invest in their people? What results have you observed?