Some People are Just People and Some People Are Resources

I took an unexpected trip down memory lane today that lead to several insights about ideas and people I take for granted too often. One of which is the title of this article:  Some people are just people; some people are resources.

The catalyst for this thought was a tweet I received earlier today from a past-coworker at Exact Software. @Ronald_Voets shared:

“TERMS00012 is now called People. Bye bye Resource, we had a lot of fun.”

That probably sounds like cryptic mumbo-jumbo to you, but for me it felt a bit like the end of an era.  I remember when I started with Exact Software in 2000, I was confused initially to find that ‘people’ were refered to as ‘resources’ throughout all of the software products.  I remember thinking to myself, “Why don’t they just call them people?”

It wasn’t long before I got it.  The people of Exact’s own organization, and those of our partners & clients were indeed the most valuable resources each company could count on for their growth and success.  This was  demonstrated each day as we worked in, alongside of, and with other resources in Synergy, which was my first exposure to a web-based collaboration tool.  Synergy does much more than simply enable collaboration, but for me the longest-lasting impact has been a passion for and strong belief in the benefits of enterprise-wide communication and participation at all levels of an organization. 

Nine years ago, as a fledgling implementation consultant for Exact Canada, I had so much to learn.  Occasionally overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of information available to me, I quickly developed a system that I now realize set the stage for the way I approach Social Media on a daily basis.  I learned to search out and follow key ‘resources’ like Ronald.  Not just any old person who authored a help file I read, or who posted a similar question to one that I had.  I’d stalk the people who answered the questions, were innovative with technologies and designed the functionality. The efforts to surface right resources to help me excel were much easier and more succesful because of the shared information created by Synergy ‘resources’ all around the world who collaborated on ideas, issues, documents, planning, workflow – all of which was readily available and well-organized. It was an amazing career experience. 

If I had a question about an integration tool idea, not only would the Director of Innovation, Aad ‘t Hart, (a Big Kahuna way over in the Netherlands,) assess it critically and instruct on better options for functional design, he’d make a point of going over it again in person on his next visit to Canada. Then there is my very prized friend, Robert Klein, a excellent Sales Solution Architect for Exact.  Rob and I passed a demo database back and forth across the North American continent many times over a span of years, enriching it, enhancing it, then sharing it with our other co-workers and partners for their benefit, too.  We’d pull many late-nighters trouble-shooting issues, role-playing for sales demos, reviewing RFP’s and collaborating our little hearts out on all things Synergy. I’ve only actually been with Rob in the same physical place a hand-full of times in the many years we’ve worked together, yet I would recommend him as a great team-player with creative ideas. We’ll likely keep in touch for life, helping each other through brain-storming anything and everything we may encounter professionally.

These are but a few examples of Exact’s excellence in practicing what they preach, I can’t possibly name them all though I wish I could.  But each ‘resource’ shared one thing in common: A belief that enterprise-wide communication, collaboration and accessibility to the right resources does improve products, increase productivity, and build strong, enduring internal & external communities.

I didn’t really realize until tonight how much I took that for granted. Those experiences are the key influential drivers of my behaviors and actions as I traverse the web and social media communities now – almost 10 years later.  There are many millions of people who have a lot to say and put a great deal of information out there in the web-sphere.  The ones I consistently follow, communicate with, link to and read regularly are in fact carefully selected ‘resources’ that mentor, teach, create and reinforce ideas in a collaborative way, every day. These are resources who are passionate about Enterprise 2.0, Knowledge Management, growth, change and innovation.  The big brains mapping out further technologies that will enhance our future.

I’m excited and understand the need for this change in term for Exact’s Synergy application (there’s no denying that customers will like it), but I am also very grateful indeed that I was part of that by-gone era, the one that helped me define the difference between ‘people’ – and real resources working passionately for an organization or idea.

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12 thoughts on “Some People are Just People and Some People Are Resources

  1. Hi Kelly, I work at Exact and found your blogpost while monitoring the social web for mentions of our company name. I loved to read your story about what it’s like working at Exact. Tomorrow I will write a post on our internal company blog to share your impressive story with all Exact ‘resources’.

    Changing ‘resources’ into ‘people’ is only one small technical change, but a very significant one. We believe that doing business is all about people, about human beings that together try to achieve their goals. This small technical change is therefore a very important symbolical one. Just a hint: keep an eye on our website the coming week and you’ll be surprised!

    Kind regards, Eric van der Palen

  2. Kelly,

    Nice post… and it even got referenced at an internal ‘Being Exact’ blog… You are still remembered.. The best thing about the post is the flattering image that got included, it from you in your 20’s or something..

    Take care
    -Aad

    • Hatess that picture, I do. 😉 But, thanks.

      Better behave, I think I still have a copy of the one of you with the donut. And I have a few priceless Arco ones kicking around from an Andover trip circa 2002.

  3. Great to see how still spread the word as brand ambassador for Exact! thx clemens

  4. Hey Kelly,

    I enjoyed reading your blog on internal post that Eric wrote. I am glad to see that, like me, you are still an Exact Synergy evangelist.

    Scott

    • You bet I am. How can you not be? I spent today doing some funky things with EEM and workflow based on some custom SDK and it was a darn fun, productive and great day.

      I’m envious that you still get to evangelize every day – and with Enterprise, no less.

  5. Hi Kelly,

    When I was emptying my drawers today I found the program of Exact Engage 2004. This was my first trip to the US for Exact and I was 4 months pregnant. It was so exciting to step into a new world for Exact users and that is (I think) also the first time I met you. I remember that the former director of Development, Jeroen van der Heijden. encouraged me to talk to you about our customers in the US. Of course I also won’t forget our quick shopping hour, downtown Chicago :-).

    (meanwhile I have two kids)

    Best regards
    Jo-An

    • How wonderful to hear from you. Congrats on your second child. I recall that Chicago Engage trip very well, and also Jeoron who I met on my second trip to Delft. I got stuck in the stairwell of Poortweg 6 after hours because of the locked doors and had to be rescued by a security guard after about 45 minutes.

      All of these memories just further support what I was trying to express in this blog post – Synergy seems to me to have taught me much in regards to collaboration, communities and building relationships, long before Social Media became a buzzword. 😉

  6. […] tag the first person to get them off and running. I’ve written before about a past employer, Exact Software, and the truly great experience it was working for an organization that genuinely encouraged […]

  7. There is a difference and I like the way you’ve described it: Some People are Just People and Some People Are Resources. I just posted a blog about this very subject: http://www.babblewareinc.com/index.php/2011/08/limitless-knowledge-and-innovation-is-hiding-in-your-own-company/

    The amount of value, knowledge and potential innovation in a companies own employees is limitless. They are the experts. More so than outside consultants. By fostering a collaboration and contribution environment in your company you can make your competition irrelevant.

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