Leg 3. From Cape Town to Melbourne (IV). Putting people at the core.
Hello to all:
It is a joyful blessing for me to write again. Even though my English writing is not as complete, rhetoric, pretty, delightful and metaphoric as with my Spanish writings; I find so much happiness and pleasure in writing. Yesterday, I went to the Public Health Center, and the doctor prescribed the right medications. I started the treatment and today I feel much better. Still, my symptoms are mild. Despite a headache, sore throat and muscle aches, nothing will stop me to write in parallel to the seven teams which are sailing so near the Antarctica Ice Exclusion Zone (AIEZ) during Leg 3 – Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018.
At the time I am writing to you today, Dong Feng (China) is leading the teams. Close to it is the Spanish crew MAPFRE and the American-Danish Vestas is in the third place. The Dutch crew Akzo Nobel is the last one right now. Good luck to all.
Today the topic is human resources as part of the key resources of the firm. The reason why I don´t use the term “human resources” is because I don´t like to see people as another physical or intangible asset. People are not human capital neither resources. People are the reason for setting up businesses. I have no idea where on the timeline of the humanity we lost the route. Either we lost the compass, or we slowly sailed drift away from the correct way. We lost the view of looking our people as the center of the organization, and we put the operations, the economic profits, the happy-go-lucky immediate rewards of excessive amounts of money in the center of it. If we are not aware of learning from our parents’ past mistakes, it seems we can commit the same mistake of setting up the new emerging technologies as the center of the organization. And it can´t happen to us again. If we don´t learn from our parents´mistakes we will continue repeating them.
The reason why I adore and believe in beautiful businesses is because our production sources must become the reflection and action of our capacity to be creative and do beautiful things in life. Each person who is born has talents (natural or learned) and we sell our talents (skills, time, knowledge, decision-making abilities, etc.) in return for money. That is how trading started. But we should trade things, products, services, (objects) not people. The moment we think of trading people and people talents, that moment we lost the compass of humanity. The ideal business world should have been a different one to what we live. The ideal scenario should be: We wake up every day in the morning because we will have a day to work in what we like. We know we are leaving our home (or working from home) and we are happy to realize physical tasks and mind brainy tasks such as to think, to know, to share what we know, to reason, to solve problems and to make decisions. Our job or activity work during the day must provide us enough source of enjoyment and satisfaction to transfer it to our home with our family. The hours spent at the office must leave us with enough enthusiasm and positive fulfillment that we are doing something useful and serving others. But the reality has nothing to do with that. We lost the route. If we lost the direction in our intent to create wealth, to be productive and profitable during the last century, it is time to put people at the core again. I believe God is granting us an opportunity through the digital transformation of our offices and workplace.
The reason why I decided to be an entrepreneur and writer, is because I wish my company to produce enough economic resources for my future team and myself to have a better quality of life. I want to produce enough economic possibilities and visionary paths to become a financially independent person able to provide good quality of shelter, food, education, transport and leisure experiences to me and my future partner Alejandro Guillermo Lozano Artolachipi, my family members, and I wish the same to my employees. Our people must be at the core of the business (either a traditional, a hybrid one or digital).
If we put the technology at the core of our businesses we will lose the compass again. In the past, when we have put the accounting and financial returns at the core of our businesses, we have lost the direction. If we put our products and services ONLY at the core of our business, we lose track of our ocean course. We can´t begin a digital transformation of our organization if we forget to put the people first. We will be lost in the wilderness again. Any digital investment has to be done because we wish to create a better quality of life for our employees, clients, and suppliers. It has no sense to sail without a people compass.
We are in transition times, a new set of digital business and working skills are needed. We all agree with that. But I believe it is time to put people at the core of our businesses too. Many companies have started to transform their own organization structures by changing the approach to define them. But it is time to reconsider the whole view of how our organizations are designed. No more organizational structures with little boxes in quadrants anymore.
If you wish to download the last presentation in PDF format, click here please: Eliescalante Leg 3 Human Capital-People talents.
The organization of the future has completely changed and will change with the digital technologies in place.
I have met several top managers and business owners which have banned facebook, twitter, Gmail and other social media platforms from their systems. Some offices have banned the WiFi too. People are being punished in the offices if they get caught using these tools. It is totally stupid. I totally agree that managers, CEOs and business owners don´t want to pay wasting time hours to employees. But many times I have asked myself why do employees look at social media when working? Why? And I ask myself if our employees do this, it is because they are more interested in using Facebook, Twitter or other social media and WhatsApp to communicate with their pals than to do their routine activities at work. Let´s change the perception of the beholder. Don´t you think it is time for managers to make “the activities at work” a bit more interesting and appealing than Facebook, using digital communication tools and social interaction technologies? (“Examine new communication tools: Consider technologies like Workplace, Slack, Basecamp, Asana, Trello, Workboard, and others. Then standardize and implement them as a complement to the organization’s core ERP/HRMS infrastructure”.) What about to make our companies gradually appealing or attractive to our teams using current technological tools for the best of our company´s culture?. It is just common sense.
For example: When I write this blog, each post takes me at least between 6 to 8 hours of full-time dedication for online research, reading and gathering information, and an additional one hour to write, edit and upload pictures or videos. During these hours, I simply don´t have the time to check my email account or Facebook. I am so entertained and completely addicted to what I do, that I don´t have the time to even check Facebook or to check emails. Gradually I have stopped to check emails, and now I only check them twice or three times daily). If we are doing something we love, we don´t have time to lose in other social media activities. But if I am doing something I don´t like, I reassure you I will check Facebook and Gmail at least every 10 minutes. In consequence, the problem is not the social media, the problem is what, where and how our employees are doing their respective tasks.
I wish we all who work on the planet, can find a job role or activities which absorb us so passionately that we don´t feel the hours passing by. But not all job roles or duties are correlated with the level of dedication each of us wishes to offer to the organization. In the year 2013, Gallup found that only “13% of workers feel engaged by their jobs”. To read this makes me sad. Can you believe it? Work should dignify us. Take a minute to think about what I will share right now:
“Unhappy Employees Outnumber Happy Ones By Two To One Worldwide”
Our work must give us at least a sense of being useful and some source of happiness in our lives. If that is not happening, there is something wrong with our society and enterprise model. Things are not going anywhere.
A company founder once told me: “If my employees are not happy with my company, it is not my fault. My “human resources division” are guilty of this. I have to fire my Human Resources department”. I said to myself: Oh My God!
The Human Resources Division, traditionally, has been seen as the most forgotten department in the company. For many CEOs, it is considered as a cost center, and they usually reduce it as much as possible. What is not surprising is to understand the Human Resources do not perform what they should do. Many new hires do not even pass the Human Resources processes designed for recruiting, and the HR manager is the last person to know when someone is hired. Ironic. To me, Human Resources Division “tag” or brand name is wrong. If you ask for anyone what is an HR function, they will answer: the HR are the people who are working in the “Human Resources” department and are seen as the recruiters, the job analysts, the organizational designers, the one time in a year birthdays’ and Christmas celebrant organizers, the key performance responsible personnel for compensation administration, workforce & manpower planning, and the specialists who measure the people talents, individual indicators, and professional appearance. Millions of dollars have been spent in training and human capital development through seminars, conferences, and fragmented educational programs designed and recommended by the Human Resources team. But if their main task activity should be Job analysis and recruiting (“technical and managerial tool for gathering, analyzing and synthesizing information about jobs and other units of work”). I wonder: Are the HR specialists doing their job well? Why do we have 87% of our people unhappy in their roles? Are the HR specialists the cause of unhappiness in the global workforce? I doubt it. It is not their fault. They are applying what they know to a problem that doesn´t have a solution yet. The problem is the model, not the HR team. The problem is the design and the purpose of the HR structure. And the functional way the HR operates within the firm.
With the digital transformation, The Human Resources little box from the organizational structure is not valid anymore. Let´s elevate the approach, even the organization structure in little boxes is not outstanding anymore. Why? Because communication has changed. The new technologies have given us social communication at our fingertips, and this disruption has to change everything.
The firms have to evolve again to better “people talent” processes and structures. Personally, I recommend a new tag for human resources, and I like people talents or Human Talent. It includes people skills, people knowledge, people attributes, people past experience, people qualifications, and people aspirations. How it works right now we are killing human aspirations to dignify themselves through their work. We can´t miss the opportunity to put people at the core, with the digital transformation. It is people what matters. It is people, not technology, neither economic value added what matters.
I recommend you to read the paper prepared by Deloitte about the 10 new trends for human capital in the digital age. I won´t develop the topic here because I have to continue with organizational capabilities and I will touch some of these trends there, but I encourage you to read this article and build your own point of view, as a future employee, as an employer, as a “people talent” responsible, as a family leader, or as an individual person. It is important to utilize the digital transformation wave, to finally transform our organizations by adjusting the compass again. During the industrial revolution, Industrial machines and cars did not give us happiness in our jobs. After the II World War, all the theories about maximizing economic Value did not give us happiness in our jobs. Financial returns and profitability without people purpose either. It is time for people to find happiness in their jobs again. It is time to put people at the core of our organizations again.
Thank you and see you tomorrow for the next theme: Organizational Capabilities. Merci Beaucoup a tous.
Disclaimer: All the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos posted unless otherwise stated.
Leave a Reply