Three Reasons Wise Executives Put People First

Three Reasons Wise Executives Put People First
from the Turning Good People Into Top Talent blog series

1.  People Create Value
In the book, How Google Works, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg argue that people are essential for creating value.  They emphasize the importance of hiring, developing and empowering what they call “smart creatives”—professionals with the technical skills to solve problems as well as the imagination to dream up new ideas.

Some profit seeking executives may claim that Google has a search engine that prints money, implying they can afford to operate differently.   However, Schmidt and Rosenberg point out that while senior executives strategize and plan, those plans always fall short.  Their point is that since plans are always wrong most of the time, the people must make it right

2.  People Assure Efficiency
Zeynep Ton, author of The Good Jobs Strategy, found in her research that well-trained employees are not a cost driver, but a sales driver.  A higher paid workforce results in less turnover, better customer service and greater efficiency.  Investing in people can lead to greater profitability, even in declining industries.  She cites  Southwest Airlines as an example, which is  regularly listed as one of best companies to work for and has maintained healthy profits for decades in a very competitive industry.  In a comparison of Costco and Sam’s Club, Costco was able to gain an edge in productivity.

3.  Consumers are People, Too
Greg Satell,  publisher of  and a regular contributor to Forbes and Harvard Business Review, says, “A focus on people also tends to spill over into how a company treats its customers.  It’s no accident that Google, Southwest and Costco are not only great places to work, but also rank high in Net Promoter Score, which is probably the best measure of customer satisfaction. Employees that feel cared about tend to care about others.”

For any business to prosper it must continually innovate how it creates, delivers and adds value to customers and other stakeholders.  You need people who are fully  engaged and inspired by the mission of the enterprise—what I call “Top Talent.”    It is the CEO’s responsibility to be sure that the company always puts people first.


Bob Moore, CMC®
CEO of Effectiveness, Inc and
The Talent Management Institute
“Turning Good People Into Top Talent”

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