Gary Hamel’s pyramid of human capabilities
April 8, 2010
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This is a transcript from Gary Hamel video on management innovation. The author of Future of Management presents his Maslow pyramid describing the hierarchy of human capabilities within a work environment.
There are 6 levels of engagement and human capabilities in the work space :
- Obedience : show up, do the job
- Diligence : work hard, stay focus, long hours etc …
- Intellect : taking responsibility for their own skills, bring best practices to the work place
- Initiative : taking ownership for a problem, an opportunity before you ask them, not bound by a definition of their job
- Human creativity : brought by people who would ask how to do this in a fundamental different way ? What is there to learn from other industries ? Where are the chances for radical innovation in this product/service ?
- Passion and zeal : for whom their job is not only intellectually meaningful it is indeed spiritualy meaningful to them. Enormous meaning comes out of their work.
Layers 1 to 3 are becoming global commoditites. One can buy these human capabilities in any low cost country in the world. There is certainly no company in the western world with a cost structure able to defend their place in the world if this is all they’re getting out of their employees.
If you attach some percentage to that hierarchy to your people, what proportion of their capabilities are they bringing each day ? We’ve asked that question, we’ve done some surveys and most of the results were showing that we’ve getting about 50-55% of our employees capabilities.
Which means that we only are tapping into the first 3 commoditized capabilities, not in the last three which are the ones bringing most value.
That’s not enough for the world that lies ahead.
This is the reason why employee’s engagement is such a critical issue whenever working with knowledge workers.
Now : what is the proportion of their capabilities people bring into your company ? Is that acceptable for you ? How do you plan to improve these capabilities ?