Are You An Asset Or A Liability?
A Short Sharp Shock
I am no accountant, but I do get that the ‘liability’ is not about people per se, but rather things like accrued income of staff.
Accounting is one of the oldest professions in the world1 and was built over centuries. Any change to those standards will take time and will not be easy. But change they must and the measurement of business through a purely fiscal lens needs to be overturned.
People First is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Yes - and ‘Stakeholder Capitalism’ is the solution!
Not so fast.
Putting aside the idea that it might not be, let’s assume it is.
Stakeholder Capitalism has really been taking hold in certain circles over the past few years - but it isn’t a new idea.2 Adoption is hard and it is going to take time. Meanwhile, BSBAU3 continues. If you want to know more about Stakeholder Capitalism, this is an excellent read from Klaus Schwab, or get the book.
The whole premise is core to People First thinking, but don’t underestimate how hard this will be. Don’t believe me? Consider ‘Climate Change’ - or ‘Global Warming’ as we used to call it.4
Global warming and its possible attribution to people was first suggested in 1896 by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius.
And yet here we are 126 years later with not just proof, but examples across the planet of the challenge we are facing like these two images that appeared in the past 24 hours.
And with that context … two headlines.
If we can’t get people in positions of power to move on something as critical to people as climate change, I am not holding my breath for the upending of centuries of accounting practice.
Egyptians were ‘balancing the books’ over 5,000 years ago.
The United Kingdom first referenced ‘bookkeeping’ in the 13th century, but it took 500 years before a professional body was formed in the 1870s.
The American Association of Public Accountants (AAPA) was established in 1887 with members of the accounting profession being formally recognised as certified public accountants (CPAs) in 1896.
Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum used the term Stakeholder Capitalism about 50 years ago.
You know what it stands for!