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Human Potential Realization

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

I constantly come across opportunities and articles about HCM (Human Capital Management). Humans are by their very definition NOT capital from an accounting perspective. Further, capital suggests an asset with a fixed amount of value (so much for education). I think we need to change the narrative in education centers and it’s well past the time to disrupt human resource management. Rather than outsource HR (like so many companies have elected to do..) they need to shift from managing unit productivity of humans (like other forms of capital assets) to maximizing the value of human potential.

The trends that we are seeing in the marketplace are focused on commoditizing resources through simplistic classification and allocation. This is a common practice with strategic sourcing, which manages the fluid sourcing of resources as work is shifted from full time positions to 3rd party contractors. The challenge of sourcing talent is reduced to immediate availability of specific skills and experience that can be applied to one or more sets of activities (jobs). The matching logic is fairly simple logic and most of the filtering is left to algorithms and/or rule sets to perform the selection from online forms and/or electronic documents used by mining tools to find qualified resources for project-based work.

The notion of a career is quickly disappearing and where possible automation is being used to replace humans as quickly as it can be deployed. Companies are investing huge amounts of money into AI, ML, and RPA (robotic process automation), which creates a challenge for individuals in the workplace as well as students who are graduating in the next few years. Neither the existing or new workers will be prepared for the scope and speed of change, leading to job displacement. All of the big players (employers) have implemented practices around staff augmentation and many are experimenting with new technologies to augment repetitive tasks (today). It may be prudent to begin holding conversations around the future of work and discuss ways we need to fund education and retraining for workers to ensure we maximize the value of human potential so that humans are not treated as depreciable assets.


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