Check out the new book by one of our favorite authors Peter Psichogios

Leading from the Front Line: Learn How to Create Exceptional Customer Experiences.

Click here to learn more about Peter's new book!

Future of Talent

A few notes from the Future of Talent Institute‘s 2013 retreat at Marconi Center.

Serendipity powers pull.

The culture question: recruit people to preserve it or to change it?

Bring coyotes (disrupters) to meetings.

“Just let me do good work,” says the new generation.

Meet without a goal. Just listen.

Robotics is not about replacing humans; it’s about picking the right apps to augment humans.

Innovation is the Holy Grail.

Google criteria for hiring: 1. passion for the work, 2. demonstrated ability to do things, 3. eager to learn and able to unlearn

Big data: where the Google criteria came from.

Crumbling hierarchies.

Concept of employee is in question.

New org structures: pods, holocracy, agile, teams à la Hollywood.

The net is your resume. Your network is your references.

Read: Race Against the Machine (McAfee)

Demographics don’t matter at the edges of the extended enterprise. Why should they matter in the core?

Future of Talent is one of my top professional development activities year after year. If you’re into big picture HR, consider joining us next year.


Leave a reply

Once a year, my friend Kevin Wheeler hosts a retreat focused on the Future of Talent and major trends in human resources. I’m writing this post in a conference room overlooking the Pacific in Santa Cruz, California, sitting with a dozen senior talent managers. I’m going to share Kevin’s top five trends impacting HR leadership and snippets from our discussions about them.

Future of Talent 7

  1. Rise of social business. Connecting and sharing are how business is done. This requires trust, the sort of relationships you experience in a village where everyone knows one another. A challenge is how to scale. It’s time to revisit Marshal McLuhan’s concept of the global village. Substitute “Internet” for “television” and McLuhan’s The Medium Is the Massage is 100% on target. “We are not about a product. We are an ecosystem.” Social capital is the killer app.
  2. Social leadership. The idea that the CEO is running the show is fiction. We’re the boss. Leadership is collective and concurrent. There’s no center. Steve Jobs may have been the last solo leader we’ll ever see. “All the world’s a sage.” – McLuhan.
  3. Transparency, analytics, and privacy. There are no secrets. “Outing” is inevitable. Rather than wring our hands about invasions of privacy, we must rewrite the rules for IP, openness, differentiating our personal and professional lives, and contextual ideation. Making sense of oceans of information takes a collaborative effort; we’ve got to get together on this.
  4. Redefining the concept of the employee in the era of co-creation. Corporations rely on many types of workers. Which of them should be employees? Focus on core; outsource the rest. IBM is downsizing radically by spinning out smaller, more manageable units. Expect to see fewer “regular employees” in future corporations.
  5. Working smarter: weaving together knowledge from data, people, and life. Integrate learning into the workscape. Find new measures of accomplishment for selecting job candidates; grades and most credentials are spurious. Re-rise of apprenticeship is upon us. Co-creation rules.

We live in an age of unprecedented abundance. That changes just about everything.  Instead of struggling to survive, we’re evolving together. People are driven by purpose, not payments. We face choices, not constraints.

Future of Talent 7

What motivates us? For boomers, give me the prestige of a new title. For Gen X, give me $10,000. For Gen Y, give me something I want to do.

Future of Talent 7 Future of Talent 7

I led a session on Unmanagement, a set of next practices for 21st century leaders, managers, and concept workers. Everyone now has to take stock, that is, to identify their own and their teams’ potential. Everyone needs to shoulder responsibility for delighting customers and improving the enterprise. Keeping up with the accelerating pace of change calls for rapid cycle times (think daily) and small, self-organizing teams (think agile development). People’s quest for mastery and autonomy in pursuit of a meaningful purpose motivates people to sign up for this regimen. The bottom line is a return to treating people like people instead of cogs in the machine.

Future of Talent 7

To get our heads around this new take on the fundamentals of HR, learning and business, we played these thoughts against four scenarios:

  1. Fewer young people willing to work for corporations, combined with the rising complexity of work and high level of change, is pressuring organizations. We foresee different ways for people to join the workforce, no longer the yes-no of employed or jobless. Think flexible workforce.
  2. The growing inability of educational institutions to provide skilled workers for the demands of emerging markets puts immense pressure on traditional institutions for change. If government fails to take responsibility and corporations don’t step up to the plate, students will figure things out for themselves. Folk education and DIY.
  3. Working in teams, sharing and collaborating across silos and organizations challenge normal ways of work, recruiting, and learning. New work communities may replace traditional corporations.
  4. Everything goes on the internet and the net never forgets. Persistent information and algorithmic processing of big data challenge personal privacy, social reporting, and the sanctity of intellectual property. This is inevitable; we can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle. People will develop more sophisticated means of interpreting reviews and information. How this goes down globally is anybody’s guess.

Future of Talent 7 Future of Talent 7 Future of Talent 7 Future of Talent 7

I love nothing more than exploring the future and learning from events like this.


Eileen Clegg of Visual Insight documented our discussions with murals as we talked. Take a look at for the five trends. Slideshow of the entire event is at





Leave a reply

Once a year, two dozen of the top talent management executives in the country get together for a private retreat.

This year we’re meeting at Asilomar, a breathtaking conference center on the Monterey Coast, October 17 t0 19.

There’s one seat left, so if you’d like to join us, you’d best scurry to registration right now.

I will be leading an exercise (a “Happening”?) on innovation and collaboration both on the beach and back at the Conference Center.

Asilomar Beach

Asilomar Beach

Asilomar Beach

Asilomar Beach


Leave a reply

©2016 Human Capital League Your business online - made simple!

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?