I’ve remembered recently that I actually penned a couple of articles three years ago that speak directly to this vexing boxes vs. lines conundrum. At that time I had a noisome bee-in-my-bonnet about Human Capital vs. Social Capital perspectives.
One of the hats I occasionally wear is that of a registered Master HR Practitioner. Not having being trained as a traditional HR professional though, it had for a long time dismayed me that the “unit of analysis” in HR is typically the individual (hence psychology is widely studied in HR courses, but not sociology).
I then wrote these two articles in quick succession in mid 2010.
I believe they contain the seeds of my main contentions that organisations are:
- much like complex adaptive systems and so are enacted through relationships (aka the “lines”)
- enabled enormously by trust-inducing practices (hence critical role of Social Capital)
- misunderstood by many HR practitioners (because of a one-sided preoccupation with “talent”)
In the next few days I’ll re-digest these earlier pieces and see if I can rewrite a more aerodynamic version of these earlier two “blimps”.
In the meanwhile courageous explorers — who want to — can hopefully find many of the nuggets I believed I had hit upon during those heady World Cup months!