Monday, November 20, 2006

Talent vs. Human Capital: Is There a Difference?

There's an interesting post over at Richard Florida's blog, The Creativity Exchange.

Advanced institutions of higher education, when considered in the context of talent/human capital, are not only prerequisites for a healthy economy, but are essential for liberation and empowerment.

In my view, the supply of talent is virtually limitless--limited only by the number of humans and our human abilities.

Right now, my rather crude guesstimate is that we are tapping but a small fraction of total human ability. If, say 35 percent of the workforce in the advanced countries work in creative occupations, a safe guess is that we are tapping at most 10 percent of total human ability. That means there is at minimum 90 percent out there to harness and utilize.

So the real key is how to do that: How to harness this incredible unused reservoir of human ability in ways that can power economic gain, fuel rising living standards across the board, improve human happiness and make the world a better place generally. This, as I've said before, is exactly what Toyota did in moving beyond fordism by integrating workers' knowledge and intelligence as a source of continuous innovation on the factory floor, in effect transforming the factory itself into a living laboratory.

This, I have argued, is also the next great frontier of competitive advantage...

You can read Richard Florida's full post here.

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