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Capitalism Being Challenged by Talentism?

ManpowerGroup Reveals Why Leading in the Human Age Requires New Approaches to the World of Work at World Economic Forum

ManpowerGroup Publishes Paper with Recommendations for Building the Human Age Corporation in the Face of Certain Uncertainty

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions and World Economic Forum (WEF) strategic partner, today shared its annual analysis of the macro-economic forces evolving the world of work.

Leading in the Human Age: Why An Era of Certain Uncertainty Requires New Approaches to the World of Work outlines how companies can reinvent themselves

as flexible and adaptable Human Age Corporations in response to chronic unpredictability.

Since ManpowerGroup’s announcement of the Human Age — a complex era where talent, as capital once was, is a key driver of economic growth — at the 2011 WEF Annual Meeting, the forces evolving this volatile age are growing more intertwined, pushing and pulling in different directions until they become impossible to separate, much like a Gordian Knot.

As the Human Age is becoming increasingly volatile and unpredictable, companies must prepare for one certainty — uncertainty.

“In a world where economic, political and social turmoil are creating an era of uncertainty, companies’ flexibility and ability to adapt quickly to new market conditions is crucial,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President.

“With talentism now a dominant economic catalyst, a company’s strategies, processes and solutions to navigate risk must start with its people.

“Only by unleashing and leveraging human potential will a nation or corporation successfully navigate these unpredictable challenges.”

Below are ManpowerGroup’s 10 Principles for Building the Human Age Corporation, allowing companies to respond quickly to fluctuating market forces and outpace competitors:

Principles for Building the Human Age Corporation

What Are Doing
What We Should Now Do
Rigid, long-term business models, strategies, plans Create a set of core principles of execution which are flexible and adaptable to uncertainty
Siloed business and workforce strategies Align workforce strategy to business goals
Segmentation of markets by geography Segmentation of markets based on similarities, despite geography
Technology to help processes Technology to drive growth and productivity
Society based vertical hierarchy structure Develop a “community” based horizontal hierarchy system
Manage teams based on business goals alone Develop augmented managers to play a wider role in developing growth, coaching teams and individuals
Leaders direct from the top in isolation Leaders should work collaboratively to drive performance
Train individuals for the role they are currently in Train individuals for the role they will likely take in the future
Find talent where the work is Take work to where the talent is
Capitalism directs the company Use Talentism to direct the company

As the Human Age ecosystem continues to evolve, the forces shaping world of work trends are as follows…

Redefining Market Segmentation

World economic power continues to shift considerably South and East, with 70% of gross domestic product (GDP) growth between now and 2020 projected to come from emerging markets.

The resegmentation of society is also evident in new “bubbles” of society, with socio-economic classes increasingly

varied as individuals now easily bond over common ideas, ideologies and opinions across borders via media and technology.

Companies need to consider how “bubblization” has weakened traditional socio-economic classes and leverage social frameworks to drive results from their people.

Economic Evolution – Materialization of Great Inversions

The global skills mismatch is inspiring the emergence of a second economy, as jobs have been lost more via technological progress than by delocalization.

Stemming from this is a third economy where this loss of jobs results in a need for new skills.

For example, production line jobs may be lost to automated alternatives but this may, in turn, create increased demand for technicians to design and service machines.

Companies will be challenged to plan for these shifts and ensure their talent pipeline is prepared to cope with the different skills required.

Technological Evolution – Shifting Sands Accelerate

Technology continues to be a major agent of change in terms of economy, society, culture and work, presenting myriad opportunities and scope to transform current work models.

For example, personalized apps that

allow employers to communicate tailored information to individual employees could revolutionize employee engagement, bringing employees together and allowing them to interact more widely across large organizations.

Certain Uncertainty

Periods of chronic uncertainty demand concerted action, based on strong fundamental principles to lead by.

Yet governments, individuals and companies often react defensively and irrationally to uncertainty or are simply paralyzed by it.

As a result, employee engagement can

drop off and with it productivity will as well.

As companies struggle to adapt to the Human Age and the Gordian Knot of forces creating such uncertainty, companies will require new leadership models, people practices, talent sources and also develop their internal systems, culture, engagement and training.

Leading in the Human Age: Why An Era of Certain Uncertainty Requires New Approaches to the World of Work


Commentary from the Editor of The HRIS World

We are always in one of four states of knowledge in any given moment…

  • The things we know we know
  • The things we know we don’t know
  • The things we don’t know we know
  • The things we don’t know we don’t know

Creating something that would cover uncertainties is a approach that many have tried — how many have succeeded? The last state of knowledge, “The things we don’t know we don’t know”, has always been the achilles heel to any attempt to secure our emotions, our positions about the future.

We can’t even predict what will happen in the next hour yet we attempt to secure what will happen in years to come.

We can’t legislate nor counsel nor guide anything into obedience, into certainty – this comes from vigilance as well as our own will.

There is a benefit of remaining in a state of uncertainty — it makes us think.

Suggestions by ManpowerGroup have been made several times during the course of recorded history — most of the time during very challenging economic times.

Capialism has its flaws and it needs to be alowed to self-correct on occasion.

And every time it does, there are always the attempts to try something new that will save everything from itself.

In the past few years, the USA has been adopting the ways that Europe and most of the rest of the world has already tried and have abandoned while Europe and the rest of the world is embracing what the USA has abandoned – capitalism, lower taxes, smaller government.

You can please some of the people all of the time, and you can please all the people some of the time — you just can’t please most of the people all the time, never mind trying to please all the people.

Capitalism has, when it has been left to its own devices, corrected itself and rebounded even stronger.

And everytime the government or well-intentioned philosophies have interferred, it has only delayed and prolonged the uncertainty.

Until eventually, capitalism is allowed to do its thing – self-correct, rebound, and grow stronger.

Your Turn…

Your are your thoughts?

Please share with our audience in our comments section below!

About ManpowerGroup

ManpowerGroup™ (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, creates and delivers high-impact solutions that enable our clients to achieve their business goals and enhance their competitiveness. With over 60 years of experience, our $22 billion company creates unique time to value through a comprehensive suite of innovative solutions that help clients win in the Human Age. These solutions cover an entire range of talent-driven needs from recruitment and assessment, training and development, and career management, to outsourcing and workforce consulting. ManpowerGroup maintains the world’s largest and industry-leading network of 3,600 offices in 80 countries and territories, generating a dynamic mix of an unmatched global footprint with valuable insight and local expertise to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, across all industry sectors, small and medium-sized enterprises, local, multinational and global companies. By connecting our deep understanding of human potential to the ambitions of clients, ManpowerGroup helps the organizations and individuals we serve achieve more than they imagined – because their success leads to our success. And by creating these powerful connections, we create power that drives organizations forward, accelerates personal success and builds more sustainable communities. We help power the world of work. The ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™ and Right Management®. Learn more about how ManpowerGroup can help you win in the Human Age at

ManpowerGroup is the most trusted brand in the industry, and was once again the only company in our industry to be named to the Ethisphere Institute’s 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies list for our proven commitment to ethical business practices, including an outstanding commitment to ethical leadership, compliance practices and corporate social responsibility.

In January 2011, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ManpowerGroup announced the world has entered the Human Age, where talent has replaced capital as the key competitive differentiator. This concept of talentism as the new capitalism continues to resonate and was echoed as a core theme of the 2012 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Learn more at

Gain access to ManpowerGroup’s extensive thought leadership papers, annual Talent Shortage surveys and the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, one of the most trusted indices of employment activity in the world, via the ManpowerGroup World of Work Insight iPad application. This thought leadership app explores the challenges faced by employers navigating the changing world of work and provides in-depth commentary, analysis, insight and advice on strategies for success.

Follow ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres on Twitter: Joerres is one of only 20 Fortune 500 CEOs who leverages a Twitter account to get his message out.

SOURCE ManpowerGroup


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