“Productive work in the new economy is work that applies vision, knowledge and concepts – work that is based on the mind rather than the hand. The center of gravity of the work force is shifting from the manual worker to the knowledge worker.”
~ Peter F. Drucker
The Great Shift
It’s not our father’s business world anymore. Besides the changes in market factors, there is a big change in the relationship between organizations and their employees; which make today’s business landscape radically different from what it was only a generation or two ago.
At the heart of this change is the fact that the world of business has transitioned from an industrial era to an intellectual one…on a grand scale. More often than not, what separates today’s business winners from losers is the intellectual capital contained between the ears of their most valued asset – their people.
We are shifting from the Industrial Economy to the Intellectual Economy. This shift isn’t unprecedented. Prior to the Industrial age, the world existed in an Agrarian economy and prior to that, a hunter/gatherer society.
Unfortunately, however, while the world of business has indeed shifted from an industrial to an intellectual age, the management principles we apply in this new era have not shifted similarly. Most of them were created in the Industrial era, to effectively manage the manual worker. The problem with this is that while they may have sufficed for managing yesterday’s manual laborer, they are not very well suited for managing the knowledge worker of today.
The New Normal
As a member of the HR community, you can change with the shift, or you will be left behind. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be out of a job, but you won’t ever get beyond being considered overhead and compliance.
The industrial era think of the HR department being focused on compliance, recruiting, benefits and training are going by the wayside. Again, these roles within the department will still exist, but the perception of the department is changing in the new era.
The Intellectual Era is moving towards seeing your department as it truly is: a valuable asset to the company. You are talent managers and chief people officers who are the change agents for the company.
How do you make the shift? Attend my session, HR- Be A Strategically Valuable Asset In Economically Challenged Times and you will be well on your way.
Bryan Arzani is Vice President and Co-Founder of the Results Group LLC, a certified Iowa TSB, that specializes in helping businesses identify, understand and maximize all of the Human Capital within their organization to increase efficiency, improve performance and create more profits. Bryan will be speaking at the IBA Human Resources Conference on April 16-17, 2013.