There's a convenience store near me. They just finished what I'd guess is a $500,000 renovation. It sure helps! Bravo!
The previously crappy staff attitude is as crappy as ever. (All the more obvious because there's a Starbucks just a block away. For that matter, I guess there's pretty much a Starbucks within a block of everything these days.) Frankly, I feel they pretty much pissed away the $500,000! I'll trade a paint job for attitude any day!
It calls to mind a big issue—which holds for the receptionist in the 3-person, walkup accountancy—and for the U.S. military. It's so easy—and so visible—to get caught up with the capital budget. It's "permanent" and you can take a picture of the result, often as not. The people budget is far more intangible—and far more important. Money isn't everything, but when you're almost finished your planning exercise this year, I urge you in the strongest words I can muster to cut the projected capital expenditures by 5% or 10% ... and put the savings into the people budget, penny for penny or billion for billion!
(Hint: This is a very, very big deal!)
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.