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What it Really Means to Put People First

"Peoplework" matters in a digital world and can also work wonders for business. So what does it mean? Here's an overview.
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What is Peoplework?

Peoplework is a better way to run a business by putting people first in a digital-first world. Peoplework is the new revolution--a post-industrial and post-digital revolution that we are calling the "people revolution." Access to the distribution of products and services has become ubiquitous. The people revolution, combined with the impact of the digital revolution, provides more people than ever before with access to other people. This new "people grid," much like the electrical grid before it, brings a tremendous opportunity.

Peoplework consists of ten timeless business principles that clearly define how any business now can work better together with more people than ever before. Much of this is thanks to recent innovation and the highly digital, constantly connected world around us. Apple products, Google searches, Facebook friends, Twitter hashtags and the many other ways we connect have glued us all together, and created a new online society. During the people revolution, there will be more collaboration between an ever-growing community using these established digital connections. As time passes, however, the experience will be much less mechanical and linear while becoming more real and natural.

The ten Peoplework principles defined in this book are the blueprint for this unprecedented opportunity in time. Companies who run their organizations using the Peoplework principles now have a competitive advantage comparable to the companies who were at the forefront of the industrial and digital revolutions. Digital tools and technology are the catalysts and enablers of prosperity for Peoplework businesses. The goal is to focus on people--your customers and your employees. The ability to retain a customer, and their lifetime value to your business, has never been more important than it is during the people revolution. The people who comprise your workforce will matter more to your successes, or failures, than ever before. Welcome to Peoplework!

The Digital Revolution

In the pre-digital revolution, there were limited fractures in the communication chain. Before the twentieth century, if you wanted to buy just about anything (land, professional services, retail products) you would meet the person or business selling the product face-to-face. It was a simple way of working together. The terms of sale and all other pertinent details were established while we were "belly to belly." Then, you would come to an agreement, or not, and part ways. Deals truly got done in "real time," and the more people-to-people (P2P) interactions you had, the more sales you made. The bottom line? Sales always have and always will happen when two or more people work together without friction. Period.

The digital revolution established a grid, a digital foundation, and this grid can build and grow any business to unprecedented scale. Without the digital grid, the only option was meeting face-to-face, which resulted in arguably fewer frustrations than there are today. It is how we react to these new, and often initially frustrating, ways of communicating that will define us during the people revolution. Will we accept digital interjections, while still embracing the face-to-face interactions of the good ole days, in order to see results? The answer is yes ... Peoplework!

Our grandfathers would call Peoplework common sense. Physically connecting with another individual creates the ability to sell without using a machine as the mediator. Today, however, here is what would typically unfold: We would begin by talking on the phone, likely after several missed calls/voicemails, and then we would exchange text messages. As things progressed, we would bounce back and forth several lengthy emails, and along the way, even manage to connect on a few popular social networks.

The irony of course, through all of this digital correspondence, is we would likely conclude that we never even need to meet in person. Our grandfathers, used to the old business model, would likely find this scenario frustrating. So, is there a way to juxtapose the post-digital revolution with the ways of old?

Absolutely! This is the goal of Peoplework, which is only now possible thanks to the rapid advancement of technology during the last decade. Peoplework is about getting back to basics, with a digital twist.

The concept of Peoplework is as important as the Internet is to a business. It provides a change in the way people interact with one another and the way businesses operate. The people revolution is a new era that provides opportunities to put people first in a technology-driven world. The sooner you become a Peoplework business, the more you will gain.

For more information about Peoplework visit pplwork.com.

Adapted with permission of Peoplework LLC from Peoplework: How to Run a People-First Business in a Digital-First World by Austin Allison and Chris Smith. Copyright (c) 2014 by Peoplework LLC. All rights reserved.

IMAGE: Shutterstock
Last updated: Jan 29, 2014

AUSTIN ALLISON | Columnist | founder and CEO of dotloop

Austin Allison is founder and CEO of dotloop, the fastest-growing technology company in real estate, and the co-author of Peoplework: How to Run a People-First Business in a Digital-First World.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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