Saturday, July 3, 2010

Do You Know Jack?

I remember seeing Jack Welch on a speaker's panel here in NY a couple years back. He is direct and real - and hard core. He has plenty of actionable strategies, including the controversial axing of bottom performers. Agree or not, you can't deny his overall business results.

In the 20 years Mr. Welch (can I call you Jack?) was CEO at GE, stock went up 4,000% making it the most valuable company in the world.

Most importantly .... Jack seems to legitimately and seriously value HR. Whoa. Yes. You heard me. We don't often hear of a mega-successful business person who respects and utilizes HR. Jack likes using a sports analogy to explain.
If you owned the Real Madrid, for instance, would you hang around with the team accountant or the director of player personnel? Sure, the accountant can tell you the financials. But the director of player personnel knows what it takes to win: how good each player is and where to find strong recruits to fill talent gaps. That’s what HR should be all about. And, it’s usually not.

Look, HR should be every company’s ‘killer app.’ What could possibly be more important than who gets hired, developed, promoted or moved out the door? After all, business is a game, and as with all games, the team who puts the best people on the field and gets them playing together, wins.
People are a leading indicator - while it's easier to focus on last weeks sales or number of widgets produced, it's your people that maintain the status quo or bring your company to the next level. Do you focus on your people as much as you do your finances?

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