I recently attended a luncheon at which a legend within the Indianapolis business community spoke, and I was struck by a few of the key points he made.  Without calling out his name, this gentleman has given more money away in one day than most of us will earn in our lifetimes, and due to his accomplishments coupled with his philanthropic activities, he commands a high level of respect.

During his presentation he spoke about entrepreneurship and how to evaluate business opportunities.  Interestingly, this gentleman is an accountant and an attorney so one would immediately assume that evaluating opportunities would inevitably be a grueling exercise in number crunching research.  As a student of economics, business and accounting myself, I assumed that I would get some shortcut to financial evaluation techniques or some revelation about game theory and choice, but that was not the case.

In evaluation of business opportunities and the viability of an idea, the number one consideration as presented by a highly successful lifetime entrepreneur is very simple.  The answer is in the people involved in the operation not the numbers.  It is the people who determine success or failure, and eventually it will be the employees of the business who produce the quality of a delivered good or service.

Human resource management involves much more than prevention of lawsuits, minimizing risk and administration of benefits.  Effective human resource management involves, not only getting the right people in the door but also getting those right people into the right places within the business.  Once the winning team is assembled, a prudent business owner will realize that keeping talent requires proper compensation and benefits as well as creating a culture in which employees command a sense of ownership.  Are you compensating competitively and empowering your employees to make a noticeable difference in the workplace?

If you own a business and question how to create a winning culture, maybe you need to reach out and talk to a friend, a consultant, your staff or all of the above to establish a plan to make a difference.