Here's something in alignment with what we're thinking at Trebuchet Group:
I recently attended a meeting where Laurie Bassi with McBassi & Company spoke about people and profits. She showed how the financial crisis is a result of a variety of factors, one of which is misguided and outdated policies - both public and private. Whereas we can't do much to affect some factors, company policy is one area where companies have control and can create value in the long run.
We live in a time where investments in people are seen as "hidden costs." And financial markets penalize companies for high or unexplained costs. Although the obvious reaction may be to reduce investment in the people in your company, her theory is that you should do exactly the opposite.
Although it is not to be perceived as a quick and painless process, the private sector will benefit from getting smarter on how to manage and measure people. Highly skilled people in organizations that manage them well will reign. This applies whether you are measuring sales performance or safety, looking to retain key employees, or increase profitability. Business leaders who understand this and decide to invest in their people, and measure and manage them well, will see results.