"I am certain that after the
dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be
remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but
for our contribution to the human spirit."
- John F. Kennedy
"We are part of the whole
which we call the universe, but it is an optical delusion of our mind
that we think we are separate. This separateness is like a prison for
us. Our job is to widen the circle of our compassion so we feel
connected with all people and situations."
- Albert Einstein
"In times of crisis, people
reach for meaning. Meaning is strength. Our survival may depend on our
seeking and finding it."
- Victor Frankl
"...in a world in which your
competitors can copy everything you do, ...all that separates you from
(them) are the skills, knowledge, commitment and abilities of the
people who work for you..... Companies that manage people right will
outperform companies that don't by 30% to 40%."
Companies have two dimensions, both of which are key to its success:
The Material Economics side
is well developed with sophisticated management processes. It's about
financial and physical capital, shareholder value, products, processes,
cost control, return on investment and economic value added. In the
material economics arena, the human ingredient is merely a cost-based
The Human Economics side is
in its infancy, with practices only just being developed. It's about
human capital, individual and corporate purpose, human relationships,
collaboration, creativity and innovation.
Most companies live on the
material economics side and do not yet fully appreciate or utilize the
human economics side. Often problems that pop up on the material
economics side (e.g., declining profit margins) cannot be solved on
that side, but rather need to be addressed on the Human Economics side.
Leaders must manage both the
material economics and the human economics of their companies to
achieve superior performance.
Human Economics puts the
whole human being at the center of the work organization, recognizing
its role in fueling organizational success and societal development.
Human Economics, at its core, is the science of moving people along
their own authentic developmental path, and in the process moving the
work organization, and ultimately humanity along its evolutionary path.
The Institute addresses three
equally important — and interdependent — dimensions of Human Economics:
– Self Actualization of the Whole Person
how Human Economics addresses each of these three dimensions:
"Now, at the dawn of the new millennium, it is
necessary to address such postmodern concerns as the struggle for
self-realization, the desire to find a deeper meaning in life than the
endless accumulation of consumer durables and the pursuit of
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are
small matters compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try
it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and
yourself alone, one question…..Does this path have a heart? If it does,
the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use."
The New Work Ethic:
Self Actualization of the Whole Person
Human Economics is about
personal growth and development, through the full expression of
individual talents and passions. This self-actualization happens in
work places where individual participants bring all of themselves to
work, not just a set of skills. This whole person includes...
and its manifestation in Knowledge and Intellectual Capital, but also...
The Human Spirit
and its manifestation in Passion, Creativity, Community, Free Will and
This whole person seeks to
fully express and put to use his/her authentic self — for personal gain
and growth, but also to serve larger goals and a higher good.
In a company utilizing
principles of Human Economics, work becomes an activity of full
"Both physical and human capital must be cared for
and replaced. That is even more difficult and costly for human than for
physical capital - a major reason why the return to human capital has
risen so much more rapidly than the return to physical capital."
- Milton Friedman, 1993 Nobel Prize recipient in
Economics and author of Free to Choose,
"I've tried to create a culture of caring for
people in the totality of their lives, not just at work. …. The
intangibles are more important than the tangibles. Someone can go out
and buy airplanes from Boeing and ticket counters, but they can't buy
our culture, our esprit de corps."
- Herb Kelleher, CEO,
"A tribe including many members who, from
possessing in high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity,
obedience, courage and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another,
and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious
over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection."
Work Organization The Energized Enterprise™ and
Sustainable Peak Performance
Human Economics is also about
shaping and guiding the interaction of all participants in the work
organization, so that the collective result of all these individual
contributions is optimum organizational performance.
In this context, the
organization goes beyond merely employees, and includes all people
involved in the company's success – e.g., suppliers, customers and
strategic partners in an interrelational Business-to-Business web.
At this level, application of
Human Economics principles energizes the whole organization by uniting
people under a common purpose to work collaboratively in mutual respect.
Human Economics goes beyond
material economics' focus on material assets and transactions. It
addresses the human relationships that make up the company. These
relationships and the human energy that flows through them are the
essence of the organization, the foundation of the fully energized
organization, and the true source of competitive advantage.
"If capitalism is to work in the long run, it must
that are not in any particular individual's immediate self-interest but
are in the human community's long-run self-interest."
"If you want to be successful in the 21st century
(as a country), you must find your path to Democracy, market economics
and a system which frees the talents of men and women to pursue their
- Colin Powell,
US Secretary of State
"Material development means nothing to a nation as
an end in itself. If America is to stand simply for the accumulation of
what tells for comfort and luxury, then it will stand for little indeed
when looked at through the vistas of the ages." Only if America
treat(s) material abundance "as the foundation on which to build the
real life, the life of spiritual and moral effort and achievement,"
(will) it stand for something worth remembering. "Material well-being
is a great good, but it is a great good chiefly as a means for the
upbuilding upon it of a high and fine type of character, private and
Finally, Human Economics is
also about the evolution of a society in which individuals, operating
freely to express fully their authentic selves, together with work
organizations that seek to empower people around the highest purpose,
help generate societal advances.
Companies that put Human
Economics principles into action become vehicles not only for
individual growth and corporate success, but also for service to the
greater societal good.
Human Economics augments Adam
Smith's "Invisible Hand" with an equally powerful mechanism for
societal benefit – that of an inherent desire within individuals to
serve society as well as themselves individually and their company.