If you haven’t heard of Francis lately, it’s not because General Foods isn’t important. It’s because Francis spoke these words shortly after World War II. In 1952, Time Magazine ran an article on “human resources” which followed the Francis quote by saying, “In that search, at midcentury, lies the finest hope and promise of the Capitalist Revolution.”
How are that hope and promise holding out, 58 years later? While it may be the case that many people understand Francis’s idea better now than they did in 1952, we are a long way from everybody knowing it, and yet farther from everybody doing it.
See the whole Time article here: A New Art Brings a Revolution to Industry: Human Relations.
“You can buy a man’s time, you can buy a man’s physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of skilled muscular motions per hour or day. But you cannot buy enthusiasm; you cannot buy initiative; you cannot buy loyalty; you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls. You have to earn these things … It is ironic that Americans—the most advanced people technically, mechanically and industrially—should have waited until a comparatively recent period to inquire into the most promising single source of productivity: namely, the human will to work. It is hopeful, on the other hand, that the search is now under way.”
Clarence Francis — Chairman, General Foods