Monday, January 28, 2013

Building human capital optimally...and not exploiting it!

Traditional School of Thought - Exploiting Human Capital

Most of the companies follow this mantra: ‘everyone should do everything.’  “As ‘professionals,’  one should all be able to step in and ramp up to top speed in any area, at any time, no matter what the current workload.”

This approach is short sighted approach of getting things done without thinking of long term implication and capital appreciation. This is very much equivalent to Bond investment where you get conservative rate of return without any appreciation in value.

The highly technical people are thus spread  thin toward seeking expertise in all languages that make up an application (for us, VB, Javascript, ASP,, C++, C#, etc.), and have those same developers develop in-depth SQL skills (equal to the DBAs) and networking skills (equal to the engineers)

With this approach of project  management where you have resources with interchangeable parts, is best suited to managers while assigning resources since there is no thinking required! Anyone, anywhere, anytime. But it leads to detrimental impact on human capital which won't get opportunity to grow and thus becomes impotent to produce new ideas or work pattern to produce extraordinary results.

Advanced School of Thought - Building Human Capital

The companies who are are on the path of advancement, innovation and growth develop culture to build human capital. They value the strength of each individual and understand the value of optimal utilization of their potential. 

This strategy has a long term vision of continual development and growth of individual and in turn resulting in accomplishment of project with extra ordinary results.  This approach is very much equivalent to investment in growth stock which not only gives consistent return of investment but also provides capital appreciation.

It is all about building Subject Matter Expert (SMEs) in a given area and Center of Excellence (CoE) in given technology. And then manager has to work out strategy to align correct resources to project and then manage it appropriately such a way that person responsible for that project is not tied to it for death us part.

With this approach of project  management, it provides opportunity to an individual to grow, contribute effectively and become more productive to produce new ideas and produce extraordinary results.

 I certainly believe in later category of thought of building human capital...and that is way to go!! And welcome your thoughts on the same of what works or doesn't in your company bases on culture/projects/vision/strategy.


Roopak Desai

1 comment:

Roopak Desai said...

This post is a result of very insightful exchange of thoughts with my friendJoh Tolochko.