Ben Compton writes
"One time I took this up with Human Resources: Why do you think I am a
resource? I'm certainly more valuable than a desk, a computer, or a
telephone. I generate large amounts of money for the company, enough that
you could pay for a good many desks, networks, workstations, and health
benefits. Clearly I make more money for the company than the company pays
me. So, why am I a resource? (This reminds of the discussion between Rol
Fessenden and I think Terri Deems about whether people are an "asset" or
"liability". . .either way, it is dehumanizing, IMO.)"
I agree completely, Ben. I have spent a lot of time in financial research
and my favorite question of "human resource" people is, "Where do you
carry the depreciation of these resources on your balance sheet?"
Companies carry virtually every asset or resource on their balance sheet.
To my knowledge, even the idea-heavy(biotech, software design, etc)
companies have not tried to put the value of their people on the balance
sheet for depreciation purposes which, IMHO, proves that people cannot be
viewed or even named resources.
However, I do not believe that it is entirely an organisational fault.
Individuals must view themselves as "Me, Inc."
IMO, one cannot ignore that there are many people in the marketplace who
do not and will not view their employment as anything other than trading
their time for a paycheck. These attitudes have encouraged organisations
to follow the belief that people are resources.
One of my great hopes for LO, and my reason for joining this list, is to
find ways to spread the desire for personal and organisational improvement
to these people. Having said that, I must say that I am a bit sceptical
that it can happen. I am afraid that I have seen too many people inside
very good teams who preferred to either drag the team down or leave rather
than put forth the effort. These people made it very clear that they only
performed their job for the income and it was someone else's "job" to tell
them what to do. Many seem to feel that anything other than operational
thinking is beyond their responsibility. Sadly, it seems that many unions
in the UK have fallen in line with this thinking. We actually have unions
that now strike, because they do not want to try new ideas(same hours,
same pay, same benefits, they were just asked to try new methods to help
increase performance). Note for UK readers who wonder what I am talking
about. It's the rail signalers union that struck a couple of summers ago.
T J Linzy T_J_Linzy@msn.com Brightpath Leadership Training London, UK
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>