This is the end of my first year posting to the Human Capital League, and my last post of the year. I’ve found some great stuff, on a wide range of fronts, made some good early but hopefully lasting friends in Greg Jensen and John Wenger, been read, spread, and on occasion challenged. I’d have liked more of the challenges, but that’s probably a tumbleweed silent critique of the edginess (or lack of) of my stuff. I’ve loved every minute: To Jerry, especially at this difficult time, a big thanks.
To end the year, I want to part with a gift to the community, and an invitation. Today marks the last 2011 publication in the first year of a new series of quarterly free multi-authored ebooks on the latest thinking in human capital, The Human Capital Handbook. We started this back in February without a clue if anyone would be interested: we were just bored of finding great people with great ideas and sharing them internally and figured maybe, just maybe, others might like a regular neatly packaged collection every once and a while.
They did. And after initially finding it a real pain in the butt to get past copyright and a few egos at the notion of ‘free’ we have also been blessed with big names agreeing to us pushing their stuff (note we – myself and my brilliantly patient co editor, Anna Lloyd, aren’t exactly John Wiley & Friend.) And when I say names, I mean in a wide range of subjects: beyond ‘just HR’ we see human capital management being informed by everything from science and psychology to regulation, finance and changes in the investor landscape. We see ideas in academia desperate for board air time; blindly adopted best practices crying out to be debunked by rigorous research; and often much more interesting and radical ideas coming from the East rather than the West.
So our cast list across the previous three editions has included everyone from Dermot Toberty, Director of HR Services for the Royal Mail Group to Chris Hodge, Head of the Corporate Governance Unit at the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC); Ted Cantle CBE of the Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo) to Boris Groysberg, Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at the Harvard Business School. Dave Ulrich of course needs no introduction.
The Christmas edition is equally mixed. Big articles by Robert R. Locke and JC Spender (Robert is Emeritus Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Spender is Visiting Professor at Lund University’s School of Economics and Management and at ESADE Universitat Ramon Llull); Ian Price, author of “The Activity Illusion: Why we Live to Work in the 21st Century and How to Live Instead”; Ulf Johanson, Professor Emeritus at Mälardalen University, Sweden and Stepehen Watson, former Director of the Finance for Managers programme at Ashridge Business School. Sadly, Stephen passed away this year. We thank Ashridge for letting up publish one of his seminal works. We’ve also asked some of our previous authors, What’s next for 2012? Some interesting insights are shared here too.
So here is the gift: All four editions now available to freely download, read, spread and challenge on The Handbook microsite.
And here’s the invitation: If anyone on the HCL community wants to or has something they feel or think fits the series, please get in touch and get involved in the 2012 season. There is nothing in it for you I’m afraid: not in monetary terms. But like HCL, it’s a good place to share your ideas and make new friends.
See you all in 2012.