Complex issues

What it takes to solve them

A German born electrical engineer Charles Steinmetz’s genius and inventions played a major role in making General Electric the industrial power it is today. Once, after he had retired, GE called him to help locate a malfunction in a system of complex machinery.

After testing different components of the machinery, Steinmetz took a piece of chalk and marked an “x” at a specific location on one of the machines. The machine was disassembled, and the GE experts somewhat sheepishly found a defect exactly at Steinmetz’s chalk mark.

But when GE received a bill from Steinmetz for $10,000, company officials questioned the amount and asked for an itemized bill. Steinmetz readily sent the itemized bill that read as follows:

                                                      Making one chalk mark:             $       1.00
                                                      Knowing where to place it:           9,999.00

GE spent a lot of money trying to fix the problem themselves and failed. When they pulled in an expert – he quickly fixed the problem. Most companies try to fix their Human Capital problems on their own and spend a lot of money, lost opportunity and time. When what they need is an expert who is in tune with the complexity of Human Capital.

Clark Ingram, MBA, SPHR, CEBS, CPCU is the principal of People Profits which is a financially oriented Human Capital Strategy and Planning firm based in the OKC metro area. ©2012 People Profits, LLC