(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
I am seeing this all the time now…
Parents of little children, or even older children, who are too busy working to pay much, if any, attention to their families.
Call it a disease of the industrial revolution + information technology.
Whether people worked on the assembly line making widgets or nowadays on the computer and smartphone answering their bosses and colleagues compulsively–it’s become a global obsession.
On one hand, with the impending robot and AI revolution taking over jobs, people need to be grateful to even have a job to earn a living for the families.
On the other hand, with the connections to each other and our work 24/7, the depression-era saying of:
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Has morphed into:
Brother, can you spare some time?
Yes, we all need to be responsible adults, earn a decent living and pay our bills.
But in the end, it’s not money or things that we give to our families that is the most important.
I would argue money and things are the least important, and what is truly most precious is the love, time, and attention you give to yours.
As the old saying goes:
Money can’t buy love.
But time and attention given to your loved ones can build meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and beyond.
Yes, of course, people need to work to earn a living and productively contribute something to society, but it is also true that work is used as an excuse to run away from parental and familial responsibilities.
It’s easier to give an Amazon gift certificate or a Gameboy then to actually spend the afternoon with the kids.
These days, people say ridiculous things like:
I love going into the office to get away from home.
But you can’t run away from your problems at home–you need to work on them and solve them.
The diabolical murderous Nazis used work as a tool to enslave, torture, and exterminate their victims as the sign over the gate of the Auschwitz (and many other) concentration camps read:
Arbeit Macht Frei (or Work Sets You Free)
But as we all know inside, true freedom is being able to give generously from your time and effort to your loved ones, and slavery is not being able to let go of your work.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
So I heard something good about human capital that I wanted to share:
It goes like this:
“There are no smokestacks here, only people!”
We can’t treat “human capital” in our organizations the way we treat industrial/capital assets in our factories.
The industrial revolution–along with the sweatshops and smokestacks–have been overtaken by the service and information age.
G-d has blessed us with an abundance of wonderful material things that can now be largely produced by automation and robotization–letting us focus more than ever on developing our people, nurturing their ideas, and realizing their innovations.
In our organizations, the human assembly line has given way to thinkers and innovators.
Sure, we have to build things and sustain ourselves, but the people behind the things are what counts and not just the things themselves.
We’ve grown from heartless slave labor and sweatshops to emotionally intelligent, compassionate, and thriving humans beings in the workspace–or so we strive for it to be. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
More and more people are turning to gaming for entertainment, social interaction, some thrills and fun and even some challenge.
Many in society think that gamers, because they like to “play”, are childish, slovenly or irresponsible. However, there are many characteristics that gamers demonstrate that demonstrate that they are perhaps some of the best employment “catches” around.
Harvard Business Review, February 2008, states that “the gamer disposition has five key attributes. More than attitudes or beliefs, these attributes are character traits that players bring into game worlds and that those worlds reinforce. We believe that gamers who embody this disposition are better able than their non-gamer counterparts to thrive in the twenty-first century workplace.”
What are the gamer characteristics that can enable them to succeed in the modern workplace?
- Performance-oriented—“gamers like to be evaluated, even compared with one another, through systems of points, rankings, titles, and external measures. Their goal is not to be rewarded, but to improve.”
- Value diversity—“diversity is essential in the world of the online game. One person can’t do it all; each player is by definition incomplete. The key to achievement is teamwork, and the strongest teams are a rich mix of diverse talents and abilities.”
- Desire change—Nothing is constant in a game; it changes in myriad ways, mainly through the actions of the participants themselves…gamers do not simply manage change,; they create it, thrive on it, seek it out.”
- Learning is fun—“for most players, the fun of the game lies in learning how to overcome obstacles.”
- Innovative—“gamers often explore radical alternatives and innovative strategies for completing tasks, quests, and challenges. Even when common solutions are known, the gamer disposition demands a better way, a more original response to the problem.”
How do gamers, or for that matter people in general, relate to enterprise architecture?
Gamers are a growing segment of the population and their characteristics and skill sets need to be integrated in support of our business processes and technologies. The way to do this is through an enterprise architecture that speaks to a human capital perspective.
Many times, I have written about the need for a human capital perspective (reference model) to be added to the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA). This would address the “people/who” perspective of the Zachman Framework and address the critical issues of the most important asset of the organization, its people.
Unfortunately, the FEA is still anchored in the industrial revolution, with factories served by “indentured” workers on the assembly line; people no more important than the mind-numbing, repetitive tasks that they performed 12 or more hours a day for little pay and certainly little respect.
The Federal Enterprise Architecture needs to enter the information age, where knowledge workers are the catalyst of innovation, engineering, modernization and transformation. The addition and focus on a human capital perspective to the architecture would be a good start to recognizing the centrality of people and brain-power to the competitiveness and future of our industries and nation.
One of the issues that the human capital perspective should address are the types of skills and attributes (such as those that gamers demonstrate) that are best aligned to support the requirements of the enterprise and its mission.