Zealise Glossary

The following definitions are intended to help readers understand the terms used in this website and the context in which they are used.

Distributed Leadership

The state in which any employee “owns” their job and has the autonomy to get on with it without constant supervision, monitoring or is correction and is capable of not only doing that job effectively, but of making whatever decisions are necessary and appropriate to enable them to do it more effectively as well as to assist, advise or support their colleagues should the need arise. 

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is an umbrella term that covers a multitude of factors that include, but are not necessarily confined to, the following elements and everything that they entail and that help to ensure their existence:

  • Employee Commitment
  • Employee Involvement
  • Employee Morale
  • Employee Motivation

In a Zealise context employee engagement is synonymous with zeal, a word which is deliberately and carefully chosen to depict a sense of energy, enterprise and enthusiasm that comes from fulfilled, happy people who enjoy what they are doing and feel good about it and themselves.  Read more about how to assess your organisation’s employee engagement here.

Employee Ownership

This self-explanatory term denotes that an employee has an ownership stake in the organisation. However, in a Zealise context it is used to convey the part of the Zealise solution that offers the option of making all employees owners:-

  • Without any equity
  • At no cost to themselves
  • At no cost to their employer

Essential Capability

One of 5 capabilities regarded as essential in order for an organisation to significantly reduce the risk of failing and to secure and build its long term success. The 5 are:

  • Sense & Respond
  • Customer Experience
  • Retention
  • Innovation
  • Productivity

Human Assets

The collective description of the employees of an organisation used to depict their aggregated value as depicted in the organisation’s balance sheet or notional balance sheet.

Human Capital

The collective description of the liability depicting the aggregated ownership of the employees in the organisation’s balance sheet or notional balance sheet. This is a much more narrow definition of the term than its increasingly widespread (but not always popular) use as an alternative to Human Resources or HR. The potential for confusion is therefore regrettable, but this more narrow definition fits better with standard accounting jargon and therefore seems more appropriate.

Human Capital Measurement

This is the increasingly widely used term to headline efforts to measure and standardise the manner in which organisations assess, monitor and report the effectiveness of their people and their people management. It is used interchangeably with Human Capital Management and both are sometimes abbreviated to HCM. It is used in this sense on this website, to comply with the popular understanding which provides a convenient umbrella to describe the overall nature of our efforts. This is notwithstanding the unfortunate potential for confusion described in the last definition.

Organisational Integrity

The state to which every organisation should aspire, whereby everyone in the organisation acts consistently in accordance with the values of the organisation as well as their own personal values. When “everyone sings from the same song sheet.” Broadly synonymous with ‘Organisational Alignment’ and ‘Organisational Teamwork.’

People Management

This overall, generic term is used to depict the totality of issues relating to oversight of the people who work for the organisation and their contribution to the organisation. It is intended to supplant the conventional term, Human Resources (HR), and offer more respect to their total humanity and without the narrow connotations of the more narrow possible alternative of ‘Employee Management.’

Return on Human Assets

This is a new Key Performance Indicator that can be added to your balance to show how well your organisation is doing as regards it people management. The formula is simply:


Strategic Alignment

The state that precedes and facilitates ‘Organisational Integrity’ where everyone knows the strategy of the organisation and is totally committed to playing their part to implement it.

Strategic Integrity

The state in which there is strategic alignment, awareness and the distributed leadership required to meet any of the day-to-day challenges or out of the ordinary semployees are fully capable of making the appropriate decisions relevant to the circumstances or situation in which they find themselves at any time and which will be in the best long-term interests of the company.


Generally – and increasingly popularly – used to refer to an organisation’s efforts to protect and nurture the world’s environment, the word sustainability is used in this website to include all that but has a much broader meaning. It is used to mean sustained success and thus incorporates everything that is necessary to ensure an organisation’s long-term survival. This  is underpinned by the following core principles:

  • The organisation exists to provide a product or service that may evolve over time;
  • However the product or service evolves there is an expectation that it (or its successors) will continue to be needed in the future;
  • The people who work for the organisation thus have a moral duty to ensure its continued existence after their departure;
  • Intrinsic to ensuring the organisation’s future is the moral obligation to optimise the way in which it uses resources. This means to consume and to produce carefully in order to minimise damage or the risk of damage and to give due and equal consideration to all its stakeholders – internal and external, and in the widest sense of the term – and their respective interests. This implies a recognised understanding that not to do so it to put the organisation at unnecessary risk.

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