Disrupting Human Capital Development and Placement (HCDP)

If you need any evidence that the world needs to rethink human capital development and placement (HCDP), look no further than the typical society in a free enterprise economic system.

Within these societies you tend to find three competing business models in the HCDP space, each with its own profit model. There’s the:

  • service-based “solution shops” meant to deliver learning quality via trained instructors (e.g. higher education)
  • outcome-based businesses meant to deliver employment quality via process (e.g. career services, job boards, agency)
  • member-based facilitated networks meant to deliver life quality via values (e.g. community involvement and interaction)

Developing and placing ability at best-fit is not complicated. We have proven methodologies that are effective. However, developing and placing ability at best fit at best-price at scale is impossible today.

HCDP problems can be boiled down to two key issues. Innovation has been sustaining as opposed to disruptive while business model designs remain largely centralized. For example, higher education offers the value of solving any learning problem for any student but the overhead of that complexity leads to tremendous costs.

The simple fact is that when viewed within the job-to-be-done framework human resources technology is 10 years behind health care technology which is 10 years behind investment technology.

Thankfully, the disruption in healthcare is already happening. For example, Iora Health pairs patients with health coaches who facilitate a care plan based around life goals, not just calling the doctor when they’re in pain. After all, once that happens, it’s typically too late for low-cost preventive care. To that end, Iora assigns its patients a “Worry Score.” The killer app is dedicated personal assistance. The killer API is the human API.

Coordinated collaboration among all stakeholders is a main tenet of reform. HR technology needs to catch up. We need equal parts interoperability, privacy, usability and human capital data infrastructure. Then and only then will we be able to integrate empirical development and intuitive placement to arrive at a satisfactory personalized life design.

We need a closed, interdependent, decentralized and integrated system, one in which different business models use a common platform that allows product and service suppliers to focus on doing a particular job very well for customers. Along the way, distributed facilitators (instructors and referrers) can be empowered to turn what is now expensive development and placement encounters into affordable ones. Again, a common platform is the mechanism by which we can meet the challenges.

It’s no surprise, then, that HCDP needs disruptive innovation to arrive at best-fit. What remains to be seen, though, is how soon that innovation will arrive and what kind of impact it will ultimately have.

Can we innovate soon and if we can what kind of impact do you want to see?

College Athletics: A Blue Print for Change

A few years ago ESPN used television and the internet to engage in a discussion about the state of college athletics. Below is my contribution to that discussion via their internet forum. As college athletics seems to be in the news more and more these days, I thought I would copy and post my suggestion to “fix” college athletics for what it’s worth. 

Here it is…

Problem: Educational values have been at odds with athletic values for well over 100 years in this country. College athletics has lowered educational values and influenced educational leaders in unfortunate ways.

Solution: Separate education and athletics! Convert athletic programs to not-for-profit entities in the communities they serve. Write not-for-profit by-laws to work out the details of athlete eligibility to include academic pursuits. Adopt a community 2 board structure as such: a Board of Directors to vote on strategic agenda only (think Executive Branch), an Officer Board for operational (i.e. “day-to-day” management) agenda only (think Legislative Branch). Now, if you’re wondering about the Judicial Branch, think IRS scrutiny! The IRS is very clear regarding violations and punishment for the leaders of not-for-profit organizations.

Benefits and Advantages: Educational leaders can better concentrate on the educational mission. If each not-for-profit athletic entity cannot get the support from a community to survive with adequate funding, leadership, and compliance then the whole program, or a certain sport, will fail. In other words, the community or “market”, if you will, will decide what it values enough to sustain. Again, the educational leaders are left to concentrate on the educational mission.

Third-party influence for amateur athletes:  Individuals such as “street” agents, advisers and the like CAN NOT be eliminated nor should they be! Athletes and their families are busy and DO NOT understand the nuances of roster decisions, depth charts, head and assistant coach contracts, etc. on top of evaluating other relevant values, like academics. Basically, third-party influence is present because there is a demand from athletes and their families for personal dedicated assistance to make a decision that they feel is in their best interest. Furthermore, let us not forget the inherent conflicts of interest that coaches have. The notion that a coach can give unbiased advice to an athlete he/she is recruiting is not realistic.