Searching For Value From Human Capital

by Jay Deragon on 02/21/2013

value searchGoogle says 2012 saw 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages worldwide. The top trending searches were for gadgets (20%), people (40%) & events (20%).  Does the dominance of search about and for people indicate that human capital attracts people the most?

Consider the rise in social media and social networking sites. Fundamentally both are about people creating their own media and connecting with other people of similar interest. The sharing of compentencies, experience, interest and collaborative efforts to create new value reflects the evidence of intangible assets called human capital being used to create tangible assets.  These activities have exploded over the last ten years and marketers are chasing these activities using old advertising models and online conversational content to convert human capital into tangible results.  However this is not the best use of human capital to create tangilbe results.

Human capital is an intangible asset. It is basically all of the competencies and commitment of people individually or organized as a group i.e. their skills, experience, creative potential and intellectual capacity. Other examples of intangible assets include: brand, software, design, working methods and customer relationships. The human capital asset captures all the people oriented capabilities we, individually or as a group, needs to be successful.

Human Capital Is The Beginning Of All Value Creation

Human capital is not about describing people as economic units, rather it is a way of viewing people as critical contributors to the success of organized, as well as unorganized, efforts to create value. Human capital has always been a critical component of economic activity. Afterall economics  is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of value.   If a company understands how its human capital contributes to their economic activity, then the human capital ought to be enabled for a collective purpose. Instead many organization enslave rather than enable human capital.

In the Social Era successful companies will mimic the engagement activities of human capital. These activities are centric to the sharing of compentencies, experience, interest and collaborative efforts to create new value. This means leaders and managers will need to learn how to enable intangible assets to create tangible results. This challenge confronts leaders in publicly traded and privately held firms, at the top and throughout the organization, and in line and staff roles.

Afterall, if the human network is searching for human capital then maybe businesses ought to learn how to deliver it.

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