Human Resources. Are we? I’d suggest that we’re not. The building is a resource. The forklift too. You and I? I think not. We’re operators of resources.
My theory is not that we are the resource, but we have the KSA’s (in old school terms) that can be resources. In today’s terms, I think we’re talking about competencies. In general, we can manage the competencies into a master repository (with a decent knowledge management practice), but in practice, this does not really seem to have been well applied in most organizations. We’re still dependent on people to bring competencies to work with them every day.
Not to beat a dead drum, but this is what talent management is all about. It’s about growing competencies to increase the value of a resource within the organization. It’s about keeping those competencies (managing depreciation?) within the organization. And of course it’s making sure the competencies get used. Any asset in the organization that is sitting in the corner or on the shelf is actually costing the company money to hold and not use it. Same with a competency. We hired and pay a person to use all of their competencies. However, if a person is not engaged, they come to work and hold back some of their productivity or some of their knowledge.
From a certain point of view, we need talent management to keep our people engaged so we can utilize competencies. From another point of view, it’s entirely possible that if we can create great collaboration networks and knowledge management systems, the need for people as the owners of competency diminishes. Perhaps the first statement is the reality, but the second is our risk mitigation plan. Do you have a competency strategy for your organization?