The majority of organizations function
on profits before people which is a totally
outdated 20th Century model. In the 21st
Century we cannot operate as we did in
the past century. The world has changed
and keeps changing at a pace that is
so rapid that it is challenging to keep
up. Technology is an ‘eye’ into a virtual
world that is spinning and before you
buy a product it is already being updated.
The rate at which we are moving is not
measurable and time seems to be the
most sought after resource.
What is clear is that our ‘value system’
is getting more compromised by the day
– that is if it actually exists. The ‘profits
before people’ syndrome is that lack of
a value system and it revolves around
materialism. I am not disputing the fact
that we all need money to pay our bills
regardless of whether one is poor or rich
financially. The difference in my thinking
is ‘how much is enough’?
We need to get back to the basics. This
means one needs to start looking at
our number 1 asset – PEOPLE! If an
organization is not consciously involved
and evolved enough to ensure that
people are satisfied – profit margins will
not be achieved.
21st Century mindsets demand that
Leaders behave authentically. This
means that ‘action speaks louder than
words’. I am weary of people who use
words to impress and pull the veil on
others without actually ‘living’ their talk.
Organizational performance begins
with everything to do with people, their
orientation, personal culture, creating
a collective organizational value-based
culture which is ‘taught’ and shared
with every employee. These cannot be
words on a page or a policy, this is about
changing the biases that most people
are socialized with and helping them
overcome their limitations. Creating a
collective culture entails investing in
people and teaching them about what
real integrity, responsibility, trust, sharing,
openness, collaboration and consultation
means and how to live this. This is not a
3 day journey…this is a lifelong path once
an organization decides its priorities are

By Tazim Elkington

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