Is it really all about the people?

Shawnee Love   •  
June 13, 2013

Yes, but sometimes no.

Don’t get me wrong. LoveHR is all about the people but we are grounded on the reality that if a for-profit company isn’t making enough money, then at some point, they won’t need any people.  That means every recommendation has to be calibrated with what is possible for the business from the perspective of money and time – because when you are struggling to make money, your time is inevitably prioritized on the same. Not to be a black cloud, but great sales are only great if they exceed expenses.  When I have a client who is “in the red”, we prioritize how to get his “house” in order.

Here is our hierarchy of business functions:

  • Leadership- Someone has to have the idea and the guts to start and run with the business. Without that, you have nothing.
  • Legal- You must meet your regulatory requirements or you are a non-starter.
  • Financial- Once you have the business and you aren’t going to be shut down for non-compliance with various laws, you can focus on meeting your strategic targets (sooner rather than later or the rest doesn’t matter).  Since in a for-profit company, all of those targets are usually communicated via dollars and finance is also the group sending out invoices, paying bills and payroll, etc., Finance trumps the rest of the functions.
  • Operational/ Sales- There’s a tie between sales & operations, because if you don’t have sales, you don’t need ops. But if you don’t have your ops team delivering your product or service on time and to the quality expected, your sales won’t get far either.
  • HR/ Marketing- HR functions & Marketing functions are tied because both are valuable to a growing/thriving business, but not necessarily mission critical.

Now clearly all of these functions are actually led and managed by people and thus in that context, it is all about the people.

What do you think?