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which is why it's never about the money for a business that knows its model.

I do like how you cut through accepted rabbit holes, as you know. The other one, of course, being markets are conversations...

I never believed in the "asset" view of people. Someone came up with the sound bite at some point, and the whole world copied it without thinking. Choosing your battles is something corporate America has taught me well.

The buy side is critical. Which is why the idea of pull is much more powerful than that of push. You need to have something that is worth more than $ to do good trade.

Organizations that go after what is perceived at "top talent", often trying to poach a senior person from a competitor, think in terms of asset - and we should recognize that is a game of perception and of past success vs. a true assessment of potential and knowing your model.

Those same businesses see branding as an exercise in messaging instead of recognizing it as a building block of the conversation to draw out the model.

Take 2 ( apologies)

"People are no longer a company's best asset, they are its best technology"

"I tend to grimace a bit when I see comments about people being a company's best asset".

What are people in the business model?

The way I look at it, an asset is something you trade. Unless you're a body shop, chances are you've never traded people.

On the sell side, you can trade the "idea" that you have great people. But that's different. In that scenario you're trading the promise of great people ( and if you have promised great people, how do you know they're great? - saying our people are our greatest asset is not saying anything - unless the people are the greatest). Otherwise you're making a promise that you don't know how to keep.

The whole "employees are our greatest asset" is the longest rabbit whole in the business.

By the way, I think Brian is referring to the buy side. If I want to trade the idea of the greatest people ( a great value proposition) you need to "buy" them.

The challenge for every business is to sell the promise of the greatest employees high and buy the same employees low - Indeed, I think the buy side is far more important to the corporation's strength, endurance and resilience than the sell side - You die on the buy. ( shame we put our "smartest" on the sell side).

"Perks, more freedom and more money" are a buy high strategy. What else can a corporation trade that is worth more than $?. That is the essence of the wisdom of the trade.


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