Norton: Power to the people |

Norton: Power to the people

It seems like this statement, “People, Process, and Technology,” is the go-to response for many companies and organizations when asked about how they are planning to improve or grow their business. I mean, it is used so often and has been for decades, so there must be something to it, right?

Or has it become cliché, overused, and the expected canned response given by someone who has been asked the question about how they will grow the business or how they have achieved success? It does have all of the elements for a strong answer; simple yet powerful, only four words, leads with people so it gets our attention, and technology means it must include innovation, which is intriguing.  

It’s the “People” part of the response or statement that stands out to me. Everyone has the best of intentions when they say, “People, Process, and Technology,” but when they realize what the “People” part includes, it gets a little tricky, even hard to live up to for many organizations.  

The process and technology part are the easy parts as we are always coming up with more efficient processes and technological advances. There is a significant amount of work that needs to go into developing new processes, systems, software, and technology, so I am not suggesting otherwise. What I am saying is that my experience tells me that we often lose sight of the human element and the importance of having the right culture and living out that culture where the people are recognized, rewarded, appreciated, and honored.

While working with companies across a multitude of industries I have seen organizations who have an operationally-driven culture, or a sales-driven culture, or a fiscally responsible-driven culture. Some endeavor to have all three, or maybe one dominant culture supported by subcultures within the company. None of these are bad or wrong, they just sometimes miss the people-driven culture.

When challenged with this question, executives may make bold statements such as, “Our people are our most important asset.” And that is awesome, truly awesome. If it were true. Executive and leaders want to do the right thing when it comes to their people. They are not intentionally trying to mislead anyone, and they are not maliciously or purposely trying to ignore their people. The truth is they just have to make hard decisions. We all do, don’t we? The question is, where does the compromise stop? Hopefully, we don’t compromise our people.

In the quest for a return on investment have we forgotten about the people who truly are the essence of success for any company or organization, large or small? We can have the greatest and most efficient processes and advanced technology that will drive our improvement and growth, but if we do not have the people who are willingly engaged and bought in to the vision or the “why,” the processes will not work.

“Our people are our most important asset.” When and where this is visible, honesty and integrity are the foundation of the company, open communication and feedback is encouraged, collaboration is embraced, ROI doesn’t stand for Return on Investment, it stands for Respect of Individuals, recognition and reward programs are abundant as are opportunities and pathways for advancement and personal growth.  A people-driven culture is one that empowers companies through difficult times and in times of change. If processes and technology are vitally important to success, let’s just say that our people are vitally important to the success and the significance of our organization.

So how about you and your organization? Are you counting solely on processes and technology to see you through? Or does your company fully embrace the power of a people-driven culture? I would love to hear your story at and when we embrace, empower, and encourage our people, it really will be a better than good company and a part of something very special.

Michael Norton is the Chief Revenue Officer for Eventus Solutions Group, a strategic consultant, business, and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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