Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Human Capital Management: Opportunity or Threat?

Senior level Learning and Development professionals interested in ongoing career development are often faced with the question, "What's Next?" Within the corporate sector, the primary goal is to attain the role that sets the overall strategy and direction for learning within an organization. In the best of all worlds, the position is afforded C-level status in the form of a Chief Learning Officer role.

Over the past several years, Human Capital Management (HCM) and Talent Management have garnered significant press and corporate investment. This hire to retire approach incorporates:
  • Organization design which involves the strategic alignment, competency development of people and associated HR strategies
  • Workforce planning and deployment encompassing skills inventories, career pathing, and succession planning
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Professional development covering both hard and soft skills learning and development
  • Knowledge management for harnessing and leveraging the intellectual capital of an organization
  • Performance management and measurement

HCM seems to represent an opportunity for Learning and Development professionals to move beyond the traditional boundaries and responsibilities. HCM may serve as a new answer to the "What's Next? question. At the same time HCM should be provoking some real questions:

  • Do I have the qualification for this role?
  • How do I acquire the skills to grow into this role?
  • Am I best qualified?
  • Will HCM limit my sphere of influence within the organization?

I think that the jury is still out with many unanswered questions. Will the person that leads HCM come from the Human Resources world? Will someone with an Organization Development or Organization Effectiveness orientation be tapped to lead this type of initiative? How can a traditional Learning and Development professional gain the skills to move in this direction?

I invite your thoughts, comments, and suggestions...

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