It is the most ubiquitous platitude of corporate life: “People are our most important asset.” The undeniable reality, of course, is that the human side of enterprise remains the ultimate backwater. Be honest: How many companies do you know that are as creative, as disciplined, as businesslike about the people factor in business as they are about finance, engineering, marketing?
I came across this statement (and question) in the Maverick’s Manifesto circulated in the latest ChangeThis newsletter (which never fails to provide valuable insights). One of Anecdote’s motivations is to bring humanity back into our organisations and thus our methods are designed to help create the conditions to achieve this. There are many people we speak to about what we do who’s eyes glaze over when we mention topics like sensemaking, business narrative, storytelling, open space, communities of practice etc. There are also many, the early adopters, who’s eyes light up. They realise that they need to be able to answer the question ‘why would great people want to join the organisation’ and they understand that you don’t get happy customers from having unhappy, unfulfilled staff.
While I am often surprised at the number of managers I meet who just don’t get that ‘the people are the organisation’, we are fortunate that our work brings us into contact with organisations that are serious about the people factor. This reinforces our optimism that having fulfilling and humane organisations will eventually ‘go mainstream’.
About Mark Schenk
Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on: