Do you ever ask why is the human resource the most important of all resources?
I am sure you read all those Vision and Mission Statements on the walls while sitting in lobbies. There is a statement that usually reads something like this:
“Our Human Resources are our most important assets.”
Yet, when you dive into the culture and workings of the organisation, you begin to realise that what is stated on the wall is not what is practised.
Having said that, there are many examples of organisations all over the world that are living examples of this fact.
In this article, I am going to share with you some of my perspectives and opinions about the most important of all resources in an organisation.
Is The Human Resource The Most Important Of All Resources?
Yes! The human resource is the most important of all resources because, without it, nothing can work efficiently, effectively and profitably in an organisation. Machines and natural resources are limited. They only do what they are programmed or trained to do. Humans, in contrast, are limitless in what they are able to think, do and say. When people tap into their full potential, the possibilities for them and their organisations are endless.
Let me be clear here.
I am not referring to the Human Resource(s) Department or function here. This article will explore the reasons why THE human resource – THE employee – is most important.
This is about each one of us and the value we bring to the organisation that is irreplaceable and priceless.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and mechanical innovations aside, it is time to congruently elevate our human resource to the position it belongs – number one.
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Humans Are Incredibly Creative
In his 2017 National Geographic article, How Creativity Drives Human Evolution, Simon Worrall reminds us that what is distinctive about humans is that we can imagine something and then make it real.
Simon’s article is based on an interview with the Anthropologist, Augustin Fuentes, PhD. Simon explores Dr Fuentes’ book, The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional. It is a provocative read and concludes that creativity and community are the drivers of human development.
I concur without apology and without a doubt.
Dr Fuentes is not alone in his belief that without art, we are not human. Our ability to imagine and make what we imagine a reality goes back to over seven hundred thousand (700,000) years ago when humans were making beautiful, symmetrical tools to do their jobs.
Our creativity is not limited to only art, however. Think about how single parents may flex their creativity to make their time and money provide for all the needs of their home and children. They bob, weave, balance, cut here and stretch there to make things happen.
That is creativity in motion!
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Humans Improve With Age
Knowledge, skills, creativity and motivation are the most important aspects of the human resource in the workplace. These aspects improve with age.
There is a proviso.
To improve with age, the conditions must be effectively positioned and the work environment must be conducive. Whether intrinsically or externally, with the right conditions, humans blossom and grow.
The goal of every organisation – and employee – should be to make their human resource their competitive advantage. If this does not make sense to you, think about the competitive advantage that an Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs could bring to your organisation.
Walt Disney, who I consider to be one of the greatest creative geniuses of all time, was rejected over 300 times by bankers when he shared his mouse concept.
Resilience, belief in self and determination, at any cost, got him through.
Disney and Mickey Mouse happened because of the creativity of one man whose fight got stronger with every step he took and every adversity he faced.
Humans Give Birth To Knowledge
We have moved from the Information Age that began in the mid-20th century to the current Knowledge Age.
This is an era in which AI – Artificial Intelligence – empowers, enhances and facilitates human knowledge. Knowledge is at our fingertips. We have access to answers rather than questions, conclusions rather than data and truths rather than trends.
Human knowledge has become swift, direct and muscular.
Humans give birth to that knowledge and it is that knowledge AI depends on for its survival.
This article that you are reading is a case in point.
Without Bloggers and Content Creators Google would not be the powerful knowledge resource that it is today. According to Internet Live Stats, there are over 1.5 BILLION websites on the internet today. Although only about 200 million are active, that is one hell of a lot of knowledge for the taking and sharing!
But I digress.
You get my point.
Without the knowledge that humans create and share, we would not be where we are today and organisations would not have the competence and capabilities that make them profitable.
Humans Do More Than They Are Trained To Do
People can do far more than they are trained to do as they discover more and better opportunities. That is IF they trust their environment and the people in it and if they are motivated and rewarded for doing it.
When management sees employees as machines, or even worse, their headache, they miss the opportunity to generate far more than they can imagine. Employees often know more than they do. Oh sure, management may understand the big picture better, but employees usually know how the “rubber meets the road” better.
When employees are effectively trained, allocated and coordinated they are more likely to see, test and prove better ways of doing most things.
This applies to all the functions from marketing and sales to production, service, finance and support.
Great skill is required to effectively manage the freedom to innovate while following established protocols. But with the right training, you can see immediate benefits that prove your human resource is the most important of all resources.
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Closing Thoughts . . .
Your human resource is the most integral and active factor in the production of your products and services. If you remove your human resource everything stands still.
That is a profound and life-changing thought to digest and adopt.
The human resource will make use of ALL other resources and with appropriate use of creativity, can turn the impossible into a legacy overflowing with possibilities.
I am fortunate to be able to follow the success and growth of countries like Japan and Singapore. Without many natural resources, they harnessed the power and potential of their human resources by unleashing their knowledge and strengthening their skills.
These success stories are reminders of what is possible for our organisations once we recognise that our human resource should be our number one priority and align our behaviours accordingly.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What are your thoughts about what I have shared?
From your experience and knowledge would you say that the human resource is the most important of all your organisation’s resources?
If you are a Manager or a Leader in your organisation, how do you bring this reality to life?
Please leave your comments and questions below. We would love to hear from you!
About The Author
Cassandra is a Management Consultant, Internationally qualified Facilitator, Coach, Strategist and Behaviour Change Agent. She enjoys travelling, exploring cultures and learning about historical and social networks and dynamics.
Her driving force is the education and development of her tween daughter. The roots of her inspiration to diversify her niche markets and the motivation to expand and scale her business investments rest firmly in this relationship.
This is the reason for creating her legacy.