I read a book some years ago entitled, “The Soul of the Firm,” by William C. Pollard, the Chairman of the Service Master Company in the United States and he relates an experience that they had when they invited management guru, Peter Drucker to a new two-day meeting with the board of the company. Peter Drucker asked the board the question, “What is your business?” As the names suggest, the Service Master Company is into services. The board responded by mentioning various services they render as an organisation. At the end, Peter Drucker said, “Well great, those are all the things you do in order to fulfil your business, but your business is simply the training and development of people. All those things you have mentioned will never happen without people. You focus on the people; the people will get the job done.”
So, I want to say that your business as the head in your organisation is the training and development of people because the truth is that the capacity of your business will stop where it human resources capacity stops. Your greatest asset will always be human beings. If you don’t commit yourself right from start to be employing and training people, your business, however, gifted you may be, somewhere along the line will stop in its expansion.
If you are starting out in building an organisation, I will like you to take a cue from how Jesus built his own organisation. An organisation that has lasted now for over 2000 years. We need to find out the principle that under guard the church of Jesus Christ. When he started out, the first thing he did was to recruit people. His attention was more on people than on structure. People who want to start a business want to get an office or shop first. Depending on what you want to offer, those things are necessary, but I will say just as Jesus Christ put his attention on people, you must also. It is not the beauty of your office building or shop that matters most; it is the quality of the people because the quality of your organisation will not be better than the quality of the people inside it. Whatever your product or service is, you cannot deliver it without people and the way to go about it is to make your company a learning organisation. If you do not own a company, you definitely work in one. Make your department a learning organisation. If you don’t, you will be running your company on what you have known before and the problem with success is that what worked for you yesterday may not work for you tomorrow. So, if you have stopped learning by the time the environment around you has changed your knowledge will become obsolete. A leading organisation is an innovating organisation. What keeps a business or an organisation alive is its innovativeness. The moment you get to the point where everything is set, that company will soon fizzle out.
Your staff should not only be workers, they must be students. Your organisation must become a university where even you as a CEO are also student because you cannot ask employees to be learners when you yourself are not learning.
Benefits of Training
Training will help your staff to understand the vision, mission and core values of your organisation. These are the major reason businesses fail in Nigeria. So, if you need to buy books go ahead and buy books on these three major concepts of vision, mission and core values. In the developed world, businesses are run based on vision, mission and core values. But in our part of the word, businesses are run based on emotions, association and relationship.
The people you are employing into your organisation have different backgrounds. They are coming from other places and in those other places, they have been part of their mission. The tendency for the average person is to do a carryover, and for them to want to do things the way they are used to. Before anybody has an opportunity of importing some other vision into your organisation, you need to confront him or her with your own.
Define who you are and what you are out to do. Help your staff to understand the vision, mission and core values; the things that are most important to your organisation. It will save you a lot of stress.
You will succeed!