People are the only differentiator for enterprises: American author Jason Jennings

Jason Jennings

Jason Jennings  

The only differentiator for any corporate in the world is its people, and not the niche it plays in, not the technology it deploys, not the market it focuses, not the valuation it commands and not the revenues it clocks in, says Jason Jennings, reputed American researcher, speaker and author of eight New York Times best sellers, including “It’s Not the Big That Eat the Small-It’s the Fast That Eat the Slow.”

People were the most biggest challenge global CEOs, irrespective of industry verticals, geographies and sizes, ever encountered, he said in an exclusive interview with The Hindu.

“Every single CEO of world’s greatest companies I talk to say his/her biggest worry is people. Finding people, attracting people, training people, engaging people, growing people and keeping people. They have realised that not technology or niche positioning but people are their only differentiator in a competitive marketplace today,’’ he said.

Mr. Jennings, who started his career as a journalist, had met over 2,20,000 companies and interviewed over 80,000 CEOs, Managing Directors, leaders and entrepreneurs as a preparatory to write his books.

“I meet all kinds of companies, across business domains round the globe. All CEOs have the same worry. In Europe it is people and in the U.S. it is people again. I hear the same worry in South Africa, China and India. The concern is people, all over the world,’’ he added.

What gives an enterprise competitive advantage if it doesn’t have anything so unique?

“You say you have Artificial Intelligence or you have technology to run autonomous vehicles. Well, your competitor has the same and your other competitor too has the same. So what do you have that your competitor doesn’t have? That’s your people,’’ explained Mr. Jennings.

As per the celebrity author, people issues are very much a CEO concerns and no more a function of human resource departments of companies. “Anything that directly impacts the business are a matter of CEOs’ concern. Today people are a CEOs’ topic.’’

Based on his wide experience, Mr. Jennings said, enterprises around the globe were failing to employ the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a motivational theory in psychology that comprises a five-tier model of human needs.

“Food, shelter and clothing comes at the bottom of the pyramid. As people go above, they want something more: they want to feel good about what they do for a living, they want growth, they want to feel wanted, they want to achieve their full potential. Only CEOs who are aware of this need will be able to keep their employees happy. Today, young people have no hesitation to quit their unhappy jobs because food, shelter and clothing are no more the reasons to stay on,’’ he added.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 6:52:41 PM |

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