Jerry Ash: The Disruptive Professor

Wanted: One Disruptive Dream Team

My development of a socially responsible, self-managed, profit-sharing (SSP) business model led me to design a Company of One Plus (TCO+) that will make the dream come true and simultaneously spawn a network of companies committed to changing the way capitalism and economics works.

To form a Dream Team of leaders, I’m in the process of recruiting six outstanding professionals at mid-career and with entrepreneurial spirits.

My first effort was a slam dunk.

I posted a position on 18 job boards and received an immediate response. From the bevy, I made a clear choice.

Mark Snyder is an independent business consultant and advisor with a background that includes chief marketing officer at Sears Holdings Corporation and Kmart and brand management for Holiday Inn, Embassy Suites, Hilton Hotels and Harrah’s Entertainment. He started as a food and beverage manager at Helmsley Hotels.

Then my search got harder.

My posting for a Head of Enterprise Information and Communication Technology (E-ICT) drew a quick handful of applicants and then died. Now I’m attempting to write a “job” description for a Head of Intellectual Capital (Human, Knowledge, Social) and I can’t find one example on the vast Internet.

The irony of it is that I can find a plethora of media articles and academic papers on the need for human resources (HR) to radically change its model from policy police and regulatory watchdog to enrichment of HR’s value to company, customers, investors and employees.

Meanwhile, a ton of job postings can be found for traditional HR professionals with a list of requirements that remain the same.

From my search there is no evidence that even one company is looking for an HR professional who is ready and willing to actually change the way HR works.

HR professionals are between a rock and a hard spot.

All of the traditional service responsibilities including payroll processing, benefit plan management, administration and recruiting are being farmed out to outsource services.

Instead of focusing on the traditional activities, HR professionals are supposed to use the time to become “trusted business advisors with the requisite skills to analyze, consult and resolve critical business issues.” In other words, transition from a cost center to a profit center.

Curiously, the demand is also for HR to create “business-integrated networks of excellence” through “recruitment, development, employee relations and coaching.”

All well and good if the company is also changing its business model.

But you can see by the quotes it is not. It is pure authoritarian strategy aimed at making employees work better, harder and longer for the sake of the company and its stockholders.

Knowledge management (KM) professionals in the Fortune 500 companies have been dancing to that tune for the last couple of decades.

What started out to be a movement to motivate open knowledge sharing, initiative and innovation among employees for the benefit of personal growth as well as that of the company was overridden by the company’s desire to capture intellectual capital — human capital — and codify it as intellectual property to be stored away in the company vaults. And to be litigated over when the original creator of that intellectual capital dared use what he or she knew for external benefit.

Business and labor remained divided.

HR may be able to change its game but it won’t be able to change its stripes as long as the company they work for hangs on to the old authoritarian business model.

Human resource professionals who embrace the concept of change will remain in a big squeeze until they find a place where they can actually practice the new role they’ve been given.

The socially responsible, self-managed, profit-sharing business model I’ve developed will give them an environment where leaders counsel and teach not manage, workers own their own work and are eager to lead and follow, follow and lead. Where everyone is an indie entrepreneur capable of growing as the company grows and benefit through compensation based on a fair share of profit and the ownership of his or her own intellectual capital.

For more information on the current TCO+ job posting, click here.

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Not My EconomicsWanted: One Disruptive Dream Team