February 4, 2014 in Events (live blogging), HR Directors Business Summit 2014

Human Capital Management – the future isn’t what you think

#HRevent14 – David Arkless, Future of Work Consortium

David Arkless coined the phrase ‘the human age’ 6 years ago to describe the challenges that we’re facing; addressing increasing complexity, the need to simplify things (rather than make them more complicated), and ever-increasing speed of change.


Arkless explored the paradox of having lots of unfulfilled vacancies, and lots of people who want jobs, but we still haven’t managed to fix the supply and demand problem of talent.


This presents a huge challenge for Europe as government policy can so easily hinder rather than help this challenge and Arkless has found it much simpler to make progress in Shanghai than in the UK.


There is a need to respond to this age by doing things differently. There are 75 million young people who are unemployed, despite job opportunities that we can’t fill.


The many challenges include (1) increasing longevity (where we both live and work for longer and healthcare needs increase), (2) the rise of smart machines and increasing automation, (3) the potential to super-structure organisations (where a few people in a back-room anywhere in the world can very quickly create a significant organisation).


Arkless finished with a plea to forget just how vast the world is and try to imagine that the world comprised just 100 people. Thinking about the diversity of those 100 people (in terms of wealth, poverty, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, health, faith etc.) is a great reminder of the diversity of this world. We need to do something about this.

Simplify your organisation, simplify the way that you explain to people what you need them to do, and make sure that people are fully engaged.

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