Liability or Asset – The Marissa Mayer Edict

It has been an interesting week between Marissa Mayer’s clamp down on telecommuters at Yahoo and Sheryl Sandberg’s pitch that women sabotage their own careers.In both arenas there seems to be a criterion missing. That criterion is how do you view your human capital in your organization – are they a liability or are they an asset? Let’s look at the two events separately:

Marissa Mayer contends that in order to make Yahoo more productive she wants all human capital assets under one roof. Ms. Mayer please come clean and admit that the real reason you issued the edit is because you are still operating in the command and control model which firmly believes that a productive employee is one that is in a see all, hear all environment. You know who you are, the non-engaged employee who can not be trusted to complete the requirements of his employment contract. I understand that a recent staff meeting that you were criticized for hiring only the elite. That you have added added steps to the process which lowers the efficiency of your hiring process, which should be centered around identifying the best person for the job, in the right place at the right time for the right job. Just because you restrict your human capital assets to a certain profile does not mean that you will be anymore productive s an organization. The argument that the only way to have productive employees is to have them under your thumb has been refuted by numerous workplace studies over the past decade.So here is your question for the day — Are the Yahoo human capital assets a liability or an asset?

Are they a liability? If you believe that your human capital are a liability to your organization than Ms. Mayer is totally correct in her assumptions. If you believe that a human capital asset is a liability than you need to take certain steps to control the situation. One of these steps would be to have the human capital assets in a single place. The you have the space to control the potential for damages to the organization.the difficulty is that many organizations have found that the Gen X’ers and Gen Y’s do not like this kind of environment. The result is that they become less productive. Consider for a moment how you would feel if someone stood over you 24/7 watching every thing you did or said? You probably would not like it. You didn’t when you were a teenager and your parents hovered over every breath you took. Now that you are a grown adult why should the feeling magically go away?

Are they an asset? In today’s global workplace the success of our organizations is highly dependent on collaboration and innovation. The success of this effort is not contingent on time or location. It is dependent on the ideas in their heads. With the access to various social media outlets the collaboration can be done from any location on the globe.Your organization depends on the vibrancy of this effort and it is not helped by having turned off assets.

So you make the decision, are your human capital assets a liability or an asset? You determine the future of your organization by your answer to the question.

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