Why did we start class with those video clips from Chevron, Dow and FedEx? For the most part,
they had the same point--people make the difference in these companies--not chemistry, not raw
materials, not the places of work, and not the products alone--people. Human energy. The
human element. Human performance beyond the call of duty. Showing these to you at the very
start was my way of saying, don't take this for granted. People are the answer to great
companies, and even more important, they determine our collective future.
Given that as an assumption, it is our duty to learn how best to use our human resources--the
human element or human energy, if you will. It is not simple by any means. In fact, it is most
difficult. As we will see throughout the Module, people are not easily influenced and because
they have feet, they can walk (out the door). So we must be careful with the responsibility we
have to manage human resources well because when we do, we have a chance of creating and
maintaining great organizations and possibly better futures.
OK, now let's talk about what we covered today. Two major areas: The context in which we
conduct business today that impacts how well we can manage our resources (the "Status
Report"), and five fundamental building blocks of a company (mission, goals, strategy, culture,
and management processes). Let's take each in turn.
The Status Report tells you how difficult it is now and will continue to be to acquire and keep the
right people in our organizations. The workforce is undergoing dramatic changes, and those
changes are impacting how well we can run our businesses. Remember, when there are job
vacancies, there is lost productivity, and as a result, there is lost revenue. It matters whether we
can fill jobs with the right people. Later on in the course we will talk about what we mean by
"the right people." For now, just accept that I am talking about people who are most qualified to
do the job. We have significant challenges today in our organizations because of these trends.
We covered five trends today, and they sum to the problem statement given in the slide entitled,
"The Problem" and the next one, "Implications For Business." Obviously, the problem
makes acquiring and managing human resources more difficult. The solutions are obvious but
not readily followed today. However, you should commit these solutions to memory because they
will mitigate the negative consequences of these trends at least to some extent.