I liked this new post on TED about Margaret Heffernan's ideas on social capital:
“Social capital is a form of mutual reliance, dependency and trust. It hugely changes what people can do. This is more true now than ever. It’s impossible in modern organizations to know everything that you need to know. What you need are lots of people who know lots of different things. Collectively you’re smarter."
Heffernan was talking about an individual's social capital but the same applies to organisations too. We need to focus on collective, not just individual intelligence. Hence social not just human capital.
This is an interesting article from Dave Ulrich suggesting a shift from individual development to a focus on organizational needs:
"This pivot from individual to organization is not my personal desire, but based on research and experience. In Victory Through Organization, we report data from 1,200 businesses and 32,000 people. We measure business outcome with a 6 item scale. We then measure the competencies of the individuals within the 1,200 businesses and the capabilites of the 1,200 businesses. Our statistics show that the organization has 4 times the impact on business outcomes than the individual competencies. Experience confirms this in sports where the leading scorer in soccer, basketball, hockey and other team sports, is on the team that wins the championship only 20% of the time. People matter, but organizations matter more. Individuals are champions, but teams win championships."
You can read more about Dave's perspectives in his foreword to The Social Organization.
In The Social Organization, I predicted that psychology, sociology and anthropology would be key skills for HR in the future.
It's interesting to see these three areas highlighted as key future skills by the global innovation foundation, NESTA: "There is particularly strong emphasis on interpersonal skills. These skills include teaching, social perceptiveness and coordination, as well as related knowledge, such as psychology and anthropology. This is consistent with the literature on the growing importance of social skills in the labour market. There are good reasons to believe that interpersonal skills will continue to grow in importance — not only as organisations seek to reduce the costs of coordination but also as they negotiate the cultural context in which globalisation and the spread of digital technology are taking place."
If these human skills are going to be important for the whole workforce in the future, then there's an even bigger requirement for HR to develop them now.
The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030 | Nesta - this report maps out how employment is likely to change in the future - including the implications for skills - and anticipates a number of new occupations.
The past decade has seen some significant transformations in learning and development. One major shift has been toward the use of social media and broader social approaches, such as action learning and unconferencing. This shift has taken place as part of a broader move from formal toward informal and social learning. Read my article published in Training Industry.