Talk to me about a world where employees will to be treated like customers and you would be talking about lala-land at it’s extreme.

The current work environment is most cases is the exact opposite. Employees are considered a necessary evil that need to be kept to a minimum. Certainly the objective of most CEO’s is to ‘cut heads’. This is the new buzz-word in board rooms and is the ultimate scorecard of effective executive management.

Needless to say, people working in such an environment can only feel excessive anxiety and stress. Great motivators in getting results!

The interesting thing is that two very conflicting dynamics are developing:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is threatening to take out a significant amount of jobs in the not too distant future;
  2. The emerging Integrated Thinking and Reporting is defining employees as a financial capital.

To me these seem to be two opposing ideas.

But on closer examination this is certainly not the case. There is no doubt that valuing human capital is one area that the accounting profession has historically failed in its attempt to measure value. A good example is the businesses that professional chartered accountants run themselves. Their balance sheets do not reflect their most valuable assets – the practitioners themselves! Admittedly valuations of such businesses are usually determined by a multiple of projected earnings. The valuation of human capital is substantially well overdue!

Furthermore the development of automated machines to replace human beings is nothing new. Ever since the First Industrial Revolution, employment has been under attack, the most devastating of which has been the computer age which, in any case, has been with us for the last 15 years.

So, what’s new? Why, at a time when employment is under its greatest threat, are we being faced with a maniacal concept of treating employees like customers? Why now and not before? It makes no sense.

It seems that we are going into a new world, a world where values are undergoing significant changes. And here it is: why has profit been more important than people? Surely the human being is the most valuable entity on the planet? With its capabilities to create and adapt, the human being is a dynamically evolving value proposition unequalled by any other thing known to man. It still remains an elusive, un-copyable mystical thing where no one is exactly like the other. Its potential is not only largely unfathomable but its undiscovered capacity is infinite. Can we afford to neglect such an amazing asset? Surely it makes absolute sense to nurture its metamorphosis in every way possible? Surely the best should be searched out and applied with vitality, nurturance and support.

This is the basis of re-looking at the employment model. Companies that are able to bring out the best in the people who work for them will be the winners in the future. The ones that treat their employees like customers will attract the best quality!

Leading by committee (the agile approach) could just possibly be the new world order in which all of us will benefit collectively.

The broader scheme of things, is it not possible that the only reason that we function at levels of effectiveness is that the ineffective souls are just operating outside their circle of passion. If we all were placed in that space where we offered our own unique talent it would all fit so beautifully together for the benefit of all.

Roll in, New World! We eagerly await you.