CEOs used to love to say, “Our people are our most valuable asset.” Then people got more touchy, and it became less politically correct. Employees may not want to be described as a balance sheet item like a marketable security or machine tool. So CEOs now brag about teams, expertise and culture – still, a claim of value in our people.
Let’s start with this: People themselves have intrinsic value. They are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, as Jefferson would write – or the image of God, as Scripture would say. As we relate to each person individually, we discover a richness of experience and character. We value people as people, period.
But economic value is the stuff of investor relations. Fact is, investing is always a bet on people, and we can at least describe that value. Managers with a track record. CEOs who keep commitments. R&D people who really innovate. Boards of directors who look out for shareholders. And IROs who bring knowledge and passion to their daily tasks.
Our people are a big part of our message. Happy Labor Day.