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Brian Glassman

Mr. Hagel
I enjoyed this post, especially the part on talent. Although I slightly disagree you’re your definition of talent as:
“Talent is ultimately a function of human capital, intellectual capital, social capital and structural capital working together to amplify the value that can be delivered.”

I always differentiated talent from the structure of a company. For example, Microsoft during 2005 had up to 12 hierarchical levels in its organizational structure. During that period Microsoft was viewed as being a retirement company for very talented programmers, where they could join and sit on larger project. However, due to the large and inflexible structure a lot of the talented employees were unable to respond to outside market pressure and act to their full abilities. Thus, in 2006 Microsoft started restructuring to remove layers of hierarchy to increase the use of their employee’s talents and abilities.
So, I defined talent narrowly as the full set of abilities and skills of the organization employees and the level of those abilities and skill compared to the average. For instance a company with 3 star PHP programmers and 1 average html programmer has a depth of talent in PHP and just average abilities in html. Defining talent in this way allows me to an un-obstructed view of how the organization structure and process are fully utilizing their employee’s talents.
Brian Glassman


These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.


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Mary Adams

Your approach mirrors that of the community that uses the phrase "intellectual capital" to describe the value creation ecosystem in the modern firm. This view recognizes three types of intangible capital: human/people, structural/knowledge and external relationships.

While you point out the importance of external relationships, you leave these out of your metrics discussion. Attention and metrics must examine all three types of measures to ensure the intangibles "portfolio" stays in balance--one aspect of intellectual capital is useless without the others. So metrics need to give a view of the full portfolio.


Good one and we need to really look at this perspective to value add to the organsition as HR professionals by adopting this view.

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