Resources?

A manager posed a general question on a management blog regarding task prioritization and scheduling. What really bothered me was how this manger kept referring to the people in the office as resources. In referring to the people assigned to them, the manager talked about being accountable for the responsible use of their resources and about resource allocation. My immediate first thought was for the manager to quit using the term “resource.” I can only imagine morale in that office.

This leads well off of a posting by Seth Godin yesterday regarding the same subject. He has the same take on the term ‘resource’ saying, “Hence Personnel or the even more cruel term: HR. It views people as a natural resource, like lumber.” He suggests using “talent” instead. I like the term “Team.” He used VP of Talent but how about VP of Teaming? This implies bringing people together to form a team to work towards a common goal.

Years ago, while a young Marine Sergeant, I worked in a small office of about ten other enlisted and our Officer-in-Charge, an Air Force Captain. I admired his leadership style and tried to emulate it once I finally received my commission. He was the leader of the team but no more important than the rest of us in completing our mission. Information flowed in a circle more than up and down.

I agree with Mr. Godin. The term ‘resource’ is archaic and does not belong in today’s work environment.

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