Korn Ferry Study Reveals 9 Reasons Why People Are Our Most Valuable Asset

By James Mills, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

People are the most valuable asset, common sense but not common practice, so we need to act accordingly.

Have you ever heard the phrase 'people are our greatest asset' and dismissed it as corporate spin? Well, regardless of how heartfelt this sentiment is expressed, it is true! A recent study published by the world leader in executive search; Korn Ferry, has revealed very clearly that human beings are the most valuable resource on the planet!

However, their research also reveals that many of the 800 interviewed CEOs across the world do not see things this way, and are blindsiding themselves from incredible opportunities. Here are 9 reasons why people are so valuable and how this applies to each of us individually...

Korn Ferry Insitute - The Trillion-Dollar Difference

  1. Human capital represents to the global economy a potential value of $1,215 trillion. It is 2.33 times that of physical capital, which includes tangible assets like technology, real estate, and inventory ($521 trillion). 
  2. Human capital is also the greatest value creator available to organisations:
    For every $1 invested in human capital, $11.39 is added to GDP…. The return on human capital—value versus cost—should give a clear signal to CEOs: Investing in people can generate value for the organisation over time that significantly exceeds initial financial outlay. 
  3. The performance of people can be influenced; hence it has great potential. By creating the right environments, CEOs can raise performance and release discretionary effort—the hustle that a machine will never make. 
  4. Humans, as capital, also do something that machines cannot: They gain experience and knowledge over time, in ways that even the most sophisticated algorithms cannot. 
  5. People have empathy and the more senior they become, the more they grow their ability to generate further value. In economic terms: People, as assets, appreciate. This distinguishes them from physical assets, which operate at a limited maximum output and which typically depreciate over time. 
  6. The value of people outstrips that of machines by a considerable distance—must give CEOs pause for thought. So-called ‘soft skills,’ such as the ability to lead and manage culture, will become critical factors of success for companies in the future of work as they seek to maximise their value through their people. 
  7. Enlightened CEOs will partner technology and people—maximizing the performance of both of these assets to generate value. 
  8. Even the best AI cannot establish and articulate a vision. It takes people to build, motivate, and lead teams.
  9. Nothing can match the greatest asset of any organisation: its people. Technology and innovation cannot happen without people. Without talent, there would be no smartphones, no 3-D printer, no AI and machines with the capability to learn... Technology does not create itself. It does not prompt greater efficiency in isolation. 

People Are At The Heart of Every Resource

It's clear from these 9 reasons that people are the single biggest asset not only to a company but to any type of organisation or family. How often though do we make this a priority? How often do we think about how we can get the best out of people and help them reach their potential? Isn't it more often that we treat bricks and mortar or other more 'tangible' things as 'assets? True legends know that at the heart of any resource, whether it's ideas, money or knowledge, there is a person and a relationship. That's why they make building their personal and professional network a priority to achieve any goal.

These reasons are taken from a white paper published by the Korn Ferry Institute and a LinkedIn post by their CEO Gary Burnison.

Click here for 6 questions if you are interested in learning more about your earning potential...

How To Apply This!

    Applying this principle to ourselves, do we see ourselves as the most valuable asset in our lives? Here are some questions to help...

    1. What is the income you would ideally like to earn in the next 12 months?

    2. If you are looking to increase your income, how much do you plan to invest in yourself order to achieve this?

    3. How do you feel investing in yourself, will enable you to increase your income?

    I don't think it will make a differenceIt will help me to be better at prioritising and managing my timeI will learn how to make better investmentsI will develop my ability to build the relationships I needI will increase my understanding of how to add valueI will increase my standards for myself and othersOther

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