The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

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9780875848419: The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First
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Why is common sense so uncommon when it comes to managing people? How is it that so many seemingly intelligent organizations implement harmful management practices and ideas? In his provocative new book, The Human Equation, bestselling author Jeffrey Pfeffer examines why much of the current conventional wisdom is wrong and asks us to re-think the way managers link people with organizational performance. Pfeffer masterfully builds a powerful business case for managing people effectively—not just because it makes for good corporate policy, but because it results in outstanding performance and profits. Challenging current thinking and practice, Pfeffer: reveals the costs of downsizing and provides alternatives; identifies troubling trends in compensation, and suggests better practices; explains why even the smartest managers sometimes manage people unwisely; demonstrates how market-based forces can fail to create good people management practices, creating a need for positive public policy; and provides practical guidelines for implementing high-performance management practices. Filled with information and ideas, The Human Equation provides much-needed guidance for managing people more wisely and more profitably.

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The lure of new and profitable markets has lead many companies to formulate strategies to capture these markets. This focus on strategy often leads to downsizing and the shedding of old businesses in favor of a "lean" economic model that stresses outsourcing. The strategy that leads to downsizing has its short-term rewards--a fatter bottom line and happy shareholders.

Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that much of this downsizing is nothing more than a throwback to 100-year-old employment practices. Instead of cutting costs as a means to increase profits, companies should focus more on building revenue by relying on solid people-management skills. Through dozens of examples, Pfeffer demonstrates that successful companies worry more about people and the competence in their organizations than they do about having the right strategy. Pfeffer contends that the strategy part is relatively easy--it's the day-to-day execution that's hard. Companies that understand the relationship between people and profits are the ones that usually win in the long run.

From the Back Cover:

"The Human Equation is simplicity itself. Jeffrey Pfeffer shows that organizations that support, encourage, and build the skills of their people outperform all competitors. The power of committed minds and hearts working toward a common goal wins today and builds for tomorrow." --Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, The Drucker Foundation

"Jeffrey Pfeffer's grasp of what makes companies successful moves us beyond the anecdotes to the facts. He tells us what the wise already know: People aren't a commodity to be acquired or sold. Rather, they are the fuel that drives the commerce of business." --James P. Hackett, President and CEO, Steelcase, Inc.

"For managers who already treat their personnel as the key factor in their company's economic success, The Human Equation confirms this policy. For skeptics, the book poses a challenge to change their strategy for managing people effectively." --Professor Dr. Walter Kunerth, Former Executive Vice President, Siemens AG

"My experience--both in and outside the business world--supports Pfeffer's view that effective leadership of the whole team is critical for sustained, profitable growth. Pfeffer has created a compelling path of logic, with lots of examples, to link people with profits and above-average people management with above-average performance. I recommend this book to business leaders at all levels." --H. A. Wagner, President and CEO, Air Products & Chemicals

"Bravo! Jeff Pfeffer illustrates the fact that although most companies say 'people are our most important asset,' only an enlightened few actually do put a positive focus on their employees. Through a strong case of facts, he converts what many consider a 'soft' subject to a 'hard' one, and he proves that a people-based strategy truly is a competitive advantage." --Sheryl L. Bartolucci, Executive Vice President, Bank of America

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