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a blog by Chris Barrow

Human Capital

As I sat and listened to two principals and one business manager describe how the “busy-ness” of the last 3 months had overwhelmed them into not communicating, I was reminded of the power of conversation. And also of what happens when people stop communicating with each other with respect, appreciation, authenticity, congruency and empathy. Three months ago I was privileged to attend a planning meeting in which a vision was established for the next 3 years, a plan for the next 12 months and goals for the next 90 days. Standard stuff – and this is a world-class business. What I didn’t expect at yesterday’s review was that the business would be “on plan” but that the senior management team would have experienced a serious deterioration in their professional relationships. The elephant in the room was palpable and rather smelly. Fortunately:

  1. these are highly intelligent and articulate people;

  2. they trust each other implicitly and

  3. they have worked together for many years and

  4. I was there! To facilitate and encourage.

And so we were able to craft a declaration of feelings, a solution and a closure of this period.

I don’t know how many times a week I find myself saying:

All problems exist in the absence of a good conversation

But here we were again.

The biggest asset you have in your business is PEOPLE.

They are not an overhead on the P&L, they are an asset on the balance sheet.

And if you treat people- all of your people (including your partners) with respect and courtesy – then they will swim the Channel for you.

If you constantly grumble, punish or exclude – they will either sabotage or bugger off.

Its not rocket science – and its not about systems – its about everyone being a leader and everyone wanting to be lead.

Believe in people.

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