Our people are our greatest asset?

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

A.K.A. Our people are our greatest asset.

Back in the early 2000s there was a lot of talk about how we had moved from the technology economy to a knowledge economy. Knowledge wasn’t just power, it moved the world. Apparently.

Then when social media came crashing through the walls in the Teenies, we all decided we’re in the social economy.

But what happened to the industrial economy? The technology economy? The services economy? Let alone the economy itself?

I rather imagine they’re all waiting in a pub somewhere waiting to be called on for their usefulness at some point as a point of reference and a point of conversation.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

This has always been true. What you know will get you so far in your career, it’s other people who will enable your success.

I see the usefulness of referring to the current age as being the social age, but it doesn’t change the way I look at the world. Mostly because I’m immersed in that world, as has most of the developed world for the better part of the last two decades. From chat rooms to IM to social networks to wikis, we’ve all created that social landscape.

There’s a lot of discussion about whether or not we use social technologies in developing organisations. Are social technologies going to change big corporates into social corporates? Erm, wasn’t that corporate social responsibility? No? Damn.

A long while ago, I moved beyond thinking about my role in learning and development as being just about that. I moved into thinking about how I can affect the business into positive change. As part of that, I take what knowledge, intelligence, business acumen I have and I blend it all together to inform where I’m headed.

So yes, let’s debate if we’re slowly moving into the community economy, and the merits of this, but let’s also remain mindful that we have jobs to do. In most cases it’s about making ourselves useful. Now that, I can do.

Are you interested in applying your creativity in an interesting way? I’m asking people to get involved in Learning Stories to see if they can produce a story about learning which inspires someone to act. The deadline for submission is March 21st 2013. Fancy a challenge?