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September 23, 2010

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book report

I guess different people can understand these things in different ways.

Stuart Shaw

Hi Amy - From a UK perspective, I can honestly say we lag behind you guys. Human Capital, though now an old concept, is actually in some quarters judged on a par with web 2 concepts like crowdsourcing (though that's got a long history too). HR has been told to do a number of things at once recently, particularly get Web 2 and financially savvy. It's also been told to live with a shrinking budget. It's in a fire fight, and its new ways of thinking and doing things bandwidth is often non existent. I actually just wrote a piece http://www.hpa-group.com/blog/item/118-boldly-go-where-no-hr-has-gone-before emphasising how transitioning from HR to HC would give it a new lease of life, but your insightful piece gives me pause. Can HR become HC, or should we not even want or expect them too? In your understanding, HR has a place, lower in the food chain, but valuable if it sticks to a narrower focus. The problem I see here is that HR is currently doing and in many cases failing on the new HC stuff. They're wearing too many hats perhaps, or being expected too. Maybe this message is the one they need to carry to board?

Amy Smith

Hi Joe - so you can see by my post that I'm paying a lot of attention to Kolbe strengths with regards to these positions :) Yes, I see the HR function as a follow through/fact finder role and CHCO/CPO roles as more QuickStart/Fact Finder.

Jeff - It gets really tricky when you have a small org with, let's say, one person running tactical HR and the leadership expectation that the individual also provides CHCO/CPO-level functions too. It's not impossible but in my opinion a very, very hard role to fill. My guess is that individual is going to lack the energy to do both well because they are two very different skill sets.

Jeff Williams

I like what you have written here. So your organization has HR as a subset of HC. I get that. What is your opinion of organizations (large or small) that have all components under an HR umbrella? Does it become a matter of semantics? Or do those organizations lose focus with the various components? You got me thinking again. I like it!

Joe Williams

Very interesting post, Amy...enjoyed it. I'm drawn to the distinctions you make between human capital and human resources. It makes sense to me that transactional-based HR would be a good thriving ground for those more oriented toward fact finding and follow thru; what about the broader human capital role? More quick start?

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