Somewhere in America, a business leader is standing in front of an audience prepared to use the phrase, “Our most important asset is our people.” Do you think they really mean it? What about other key assets, for example:
1. Real estate
2. Rights to natural resources like oil and gas
3. Cash reserves
5. The corporate brand
OK, that’s not really a fair question because people are not something that’s owned by the company. Your “people” do walk out the doors of your business every night though. What would happen if they didn’t come back to work the next day? That could create a big mess, because for some organizations when you lose people you lose income. But still, nobody likes to be thought of as an object of production. So does the phrase “people are our competitive advantage” set a little better with you? That one is not so great if you are a not-for profit organization. After all, who are they competing with? A phrase I’m starting to think is now closer to the mark is “our people are our most important source of influence.” In fact, some social media tools like Klout and Kred can provide a very real look at how personal brands compare to corporate brands in the area of social influence.
As you can see in the example above, five members of DocuStar’s staff have Klout that rivals their corporate brand score. So who gave Klout all the clout? That’s a good point and I’m not going to argue whether Klout is the best measurement tool when it comes to measuring social influence. Why should an organization care if their employees have a strong personal brand? That’s a fair question, but I think you already know the answer. In general, people do business with other people they know, like and trust. Think about the combination of those three words for a minute.
You’re talking about a very credible source packed with influence and value. And I’ll take a building full of employees like that any day of the week.