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This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of HR

This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of HR
alignment, strategy, HR

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Never before have business conditions been so ripe for HR to make its difference.  Not only are companies struggling for profitable growth with some downsizing and some adding people, but now the recipe for business success requires HR’s secret ingredients!

We all learned about the Stone Age and the Industrial Age, and we could probably refer to more recent decades as the technology age. Let’s start this discussion with a look an S&P Market Value Chart.  This chart identifies the importance and value of business assets over several decades. You’ll see that something has changed.

human capital, market








Looking at this Market Value Chart, you’ll see a noticeable shift is apparent:  whereby in prior decades the assets deemed most critical and valuable were “tangible” i.e. equipment, buildings, machinery…it is now the “intangible” assets that are most critical and valuable to business.

What are intangible assets?  These are prime examples:

  • Human Capital
  • Intellectual Capital
  • Execution Capability
  • Leadership Credibility
  • Brand
  • Strategic and Vendor Relationships

HR professionals are often well schooled in one to four of the six key asset areas shown above, with a strong depth and breadth of knowledge about people, the Human Capital asset.

Are you ready to be a strategic Knowledge Provider to your executive and management teams?  If so, you can bring your specialized knowledge to the table, helping executives in making impactful decisions by sharing your unique perspective. Let’s look at knowledge you can emphasize in the Human Capital space.  Examples:

  • High performance impacting revenue, profitability, and market share is enabled when your people feel passionate and committed to what they do.   It is becoming increasingly recognized that Employee Engagement is not employee satisfaction but is an emotion fueled by using preferred skills, obtaining desired knowledge, understanding personal fit with the strategy, having opportunity to contribute the company’s unique customer value and more.
  • We recommend utilizing theories of Maslow and Argyris to build engagement, and Herzberg for satisfaction.  H.R. can educate management to create a highly engagement work experience for your people, to bring out the best their best performance.
  • Organizations committed to building strategic performance provide training and development that enables employees to accomplish strategic objectives, rather than delivering generic training and development based on "best practices”.
  • You can influence your organization to identify & prioritize strategic needs – to create training and development that provides employees with the critical tools and content which will enable people to cut through the clutter, execute the strategy, and truly differentiate the company.
  • Initial training could explain and reinforce the strategy, the core value proposition, and identify key competitors and how they differ.
  • Alignment of the Value Chain (i.e. the value adding tasks, policies, procedures, decision-making, budgets, priorities, systems, and procedures) with the strategy removes barriers to performance and standardizes practices and behaviors that add value for the customer.
  • For example, per a Forbes article, “Customer Service: What Southwest Knows And You Don’t (Hint: Being Nice Isn’t Enough)”, by Micah Solomon, Southwest airlines has set up their value chain to enable gate staff to generate boarding passes when delays cause customers to miss their flight connections. Gate personnel hand these to affected customers while they de-board, minimizing the stress and hassle of reserving new connecting flights.

Further, HR can partner with executives to identify and utilize the right consultants who have the most effective strategic tools to share.

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Rosanna Nadeau is the Principal/Consultant with Prism Perspectives Group, LLC. Focusing on improving organization performance, PPG delivers results through uncommon tools and consulting approaches, as a partner with leaders from initial consultation through solution implementation and measurement. PPG provides employee and management development programs (see and H.R. Management services (see To receive the free monthly newsletter or obtain more information visit or send email to

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