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02/08/2011

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There are a lot of companies like this. They prioritize growth over people. It's easy to do that when people work for money without a bigger purpose. But hey, majority can't find a bigger purpose than money if their needs are to survive! It's a really big problem, especially, in economically unstable countries. If a priority is to survive, then, what kind of values are we talking about?

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I think this is where constantly striving for balance occurs. I do not want to miss anything, that occurs in my family life, and technology allows me to be there, and yet step back into the office for a few minutes, then back to my family. We all have seen the parent that only shows up physically and remains on email or phone calls the entire time... That is NOT my goal.

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I sometimes have overlapping values / priorities in my own life, and don't always want to have to choose. I like using technology to help me stay connected to everything that is important to me.

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Each work comes from a long thought process.

RevelnConsults


Yes, this post reminds me of Peter Block's call out back in the 80s, which was ...if most companies are truthful, people are number seven.

Jeffrey Pffefer out of Standford has published many a book with the research and case studies of why lowered people priority is wrong-headed. The sustainability of the people investment really makes the different.

Simon, this is especially quotable: …the best organizations I’ve ever seen, the ones that are actually more profitable for the long-term, all put people before growth on their list of priorities.

Chad Moore

Simon,

I truly believe in your method of communicating with the world. I am, however struggling to discover my true WHY. I believe I have a solid framework from which I view my life and business, but am having trouble articulating that to my clients and referral sources. Do you have a method to help me discover my WHY? Please email or point me in the right direction. Thanks, Chad

Rick Davis

Bravo Simon, Bravo!

Thanks for being true to your calling, Simon. You are gifted at inspiring others by articulating some pretty sound judgment. Can't argue with this one! In fact I applaud you for this post. Bravo! [whistles, applause]

Meri Walker

Simon, your thinking is simply irresistable! Not a day goes by that I don't thank your Mom and Dad for getting you here.

I can't help it. I'm smitten with your mind.
I've got to be close to twice your age and it makes me so happy that you're speaking truth to power all over the place now, too.

Would love to interview you for my blog sometime you're not too busy.

michael s symonds

Hi Simon!

Thanx for your continued inspiration and passion in exploring the “Why” of life! I wanted to take a moment and build on your conversation…

I believe a more direct way to asses one’s values system at work or play, that you did speak to in your article, is to simply look at behaviour; our behaviours are the most effective way to assess the authenticity/success/failure of our value system.

To explain; I might say that my priority in life is my family, but if my behaviour shows that they are clearly secondary (because I spend more time at work or socializing), then there is going to be an incongruence and something will suffer.

It is our behaviour that reveals our true value system, regardless of what is said or verbally pointed to or prioritized.
Said differently: if our “values are the standards by which we set our priorities”, our behaviours reveal the degree of congruence or alignment with which those values and priorities are lived (consciously and unconsciously).

We can more easily understand the values (success and failure) of a person or organization by what they do or don’t do. This can be the beauty that lies in the seduction of developing a mission/vision statement; it might clearly suggest a commitment or priority to particular values, but it’s in the actual doing or not doing, that the active values of a particular culture will be revealed.

A company or person might say that there priority is “this” or “that”, but it is their actual behaviour that will confirm or deny the importance of a particular said value, and its priority; and at the end of the day, it is their behaviour that will ultimately determine the success or failure in of what has been valued and prioritized.

Kelly Foreman

Hi Simon,

As always I love your perspective. As a full time wife, mother and entrepreneur ... there "is overlap". I strive to always keep the priority balanced in that order ... and there "is overlap". The women that work with me do the same juggle, and we are flexible. The reminder to keep first things first is always good... and then that darn over lap :)

I think this is where constantly striving for balance occurs. I do not want to miss anything, that occurs in my family life, and technology allows me to be there, and yet step back into the office for a few minutes, then back to my family. We all have seen the parent that only shows up physically and remains on email or phone calls the entire time... That is NOT my goal.

It can be tough to do. As always, thank you for your thoughts.

Kathy Zodiaco

Hi Simon,

I really like your work and message; thank you for putting it out here in the world!

I wonder - what if the executive made a compromise? What if being at the game AND available for work were both top priorities? What if not having the BB meant he/she would have to be in the office instead of at the game?

I sometimes have overlapping values / priorities in my own life, and don't always want to have to choose. I like using technology to help me stay connected to everything that is important to me.

Thanks again.

Steen Olsen, soalive.dk

I agree 100% with you. I usually call it team-focus, but basically it is the same thing. People create successes, products don't - they're merely a measure you use to get to that goal.

Jesper HorsMark

Thx Simon for a great article.

I started my People-first-journey viewing your "Start with why" video lot's of times.

It appears to be working and please feel free to visit our mission "peoplefirst" here: http://www.amio.dk

In case you need more info don't hesitate to contact us - we'd bee pleased to give back!

@Marius
Prioriting people over growth needs patience, currage... and money... As soon as any company reaches "enough financials" the real hard part is to switch mindset...

Regards
Jesper HorsMark

CRS

One aspect, perhaps, is that money is measurable and people are not.

I worked for a place that had a similar presentation. The #1 goal was to win more market share. After the meeting, I asked a higher-up why we needed more market share, when we were more profitable than ever, and had our only two competitors on the ropes.

The answer: management needs to show some sort of positive numerical movement, of any kind, to justify its continued existence. Forget that we were extremely profitable by nearly every measure, through one of the roughest economies yet. If it isn't on the spreadsheet, it isn't there.

For some reason, the situaton makes me recall one of John Tukey's quotes:

Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.

Anyone can manage by excel. It takes a lot of courage to face people.

Daniele Milan

Companies should make a simple change: reverse those priorities. If you put people first, everything else shall follow ...

Marius Skardžius

There are a lot of companies like this. They prioritize growth over people. It's easy to do that when people work for money without a bigger purpose. But hey, majority can't find a bigger purpose than money if their needs are to survive! It's a really big problem, especially, in economically unstable countries. If a priority is to survive, then, what kind of values are we talking about?
Overall, it's a great article, Simon. You are sharing amazing ideas with us!

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