The Fayetteville Observer on people

Your people are your greatest asset

by Sid Gautam

9 FEBRUARY  2010

During the last 20 years we have seen time and again that the bigger the corporation is, the worse it performs. One of the reasons for the inefficiency is the culture of the most unproductive corporations. Corporate raider Carl Icahn says, “I can go into a big corporation and get rid of 10 to 15 percent of the employees and improve the productivity.”

Brian M. Carney and Isaac Getz, in their book, “Freedom Inc.,” define a corporation as a place “where rigid top-down management style too often makes workers miserable and stifles innovation, which leads to economic distress for employees and stockholders alike.”

We have all witnessed major layoffs by the largest U.S. corporations over the last two decades. There is no need to elaborate on the horrible failure of Detroit auto companies caused by inefficient and ineffective employees. Although business schools have produced volumes about the role and importance of human resources, we have not seen real changes in big corporations.

Mahogany executive floors and big corner offices with expensive furniture, company limousines and personalized reserved parking spaces are some of the symbols of unequal status that destroyed the auto industry. According to Carney and Getz, “Liberating the workplace begins by de-bureaucratizing and re-humanizing relations, by making them based on human fairness and equal treatment, so people feel like human beings instead of human resources.”

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