“Co-creators” Versus “Human Resources”: The Power of People

I have a number of pencils in a cup on my desk. Some are great (especially my good mechanical pencil), and some could use sharpening. The other day, I tried to write with one but it had a piece of wood that covered part of the lead. It made that spine-jangling squeaky sound when I wrote. I tossed it in the trash and reached over to replace it from my cup of “pencil resources”.

Companies have both pencil resources and human resources. Some companies treat both types of resources the same way – throwing out the squeaky ones, the stubby ones that aren’t going to last long, and the broken ones.

Language holds such power. Perhaps we need a better word than “Human Resources” for the people that help our businesses grow and thrive. Humans are not commodities. Business owners and managers must stop thinking of humans as resources that can be extracted from their source, used up, and then discarded. How would it be better to have groups of people working together to co-create a company and work toward a common vision?

As a manager, do you work with “human resources” or do you work with “professional co-creators”?

You know the answer intuitively. Do you treat everyone like a resource or a co-creator? Recognize who is there to help you toward your vision and value them.

The flip side: if you are an employee, the world of business is changing. If you don’t operate like a co-creator, if you don’t value the vision of the company, you may find yourself getting treated just like a “human resource”, or my squeaky pencil.

Kirsten Cameron is a certified professional coach who works with managers, employees and entrepreneurs to help co-create the work they love.  For more information on coaching with Kirsten, please click here.

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