Friday, February 11, 2011


It is almost repeated ad nauseam that the human “resource”, element, person, employee is the most valuable asset of a company balance score card, or balance sheet. Particularly, in these days of relational economies or of economics based on knowledge creation and exploitation. It is a person that has the capacity to establish a relationship with another fellow human being, it is a person who thinks and might come up with a new idea, it is a person that learns new skills and might develop new ways of solving problems or might create new things.

Persons meet the customer beyond the millions of counters everywhere. They are supposed to establish “rapports” with those on the other side of the counter. The type of emotional relations, that create, in the customer, the willingness to return or to buy even more services and products. Persons make outbound and receive inbound calls, in companies, dealing with customers complaints, doubts, inquiries, needs, purchases. They are supposed to establish a good and cordial interaction with the customer regardless of this being even totally out of control due to some grievance caused by some product malfunction. Persons create new products, or processes, or systems and act on them. Persons can come up with novel solutions for old problems. Persons can invent new problems that might become virtuous cycles of value creation.

People use the gear, the computer systems, the vehicles, the procedures, fill in the paperwork, download, upload, forward the info required for companies to operate. People perform the actions that transform some raw material or energy into some new state in the process of transformation and manufacturing.

People are supposed to be willing participants in these wonderful journeys of economic development. Through their participation in these activities they can achieve some sense of fulfillment of their lives, attain some meaningful notion of self esteem. Become corporate citizens. Become the safe guards of corporate responsibility. Enact the principles of corporate integrity.

People paid at 6 dollars an hour. Do all of these?

People that the first thing they learn in meetings is to pay attention to what the boss says, keep their mouth shut and in the end agreed, preferably with visible enthusiasm to the idiotic visions of a bureaucrat that is distanced of everyday “battle fields” in the comfort of his/her office. People that are “invited” to express them selves openly in meetings, but know that the tacit hidden unspoken code is that they should conform to the culture if they want to keep their jobs. People that are told at 7 p.m. when leaving after two hours of “free work” for the company – “Are you taking the afternoon off?” or “Already leaving home?”

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