The Human Capitalist

One may consider human capital as a resource that organizations lease as an input in their own production function, the 'lease rate' of which we conventionally call ‘wages’. It is sometimes somewhat lazily defined as the stock of competencies, knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, cognitive abilities, embodied in the ability produce economic value. This descriptive language fails almost entirely to grasp the necessary contingency in the creation of any capital, but a contingent aspect particularly pronounced in human capital.

Our position is that, while one can applaud the effort to become proficient in a tool like Microsoft Excel, for example, the assessed value of Excel-related human capital, its effective lease rate, turns upon one’s understanding of how Excel itself releases value in the knowledge economy. The claim here, then, is that isolated proficiencies are not human capital. Stated more pointedly, for the human capitalist a degree of proficiency in a tool like Microsoft Excel is not their market offering. Rather, a bona fide human capitalist understands the true ontological nature of their three fundamental outputs: problem identification, problem solving, and innovation.

Moreover, the assumed value of that human capital depends on the extent to which there is an organization in place that is equipped to assimilate them into an economically viable production function. It is difficult to overstate, then, the importance of understanding the nature, and value creation process, of human capital in the Ontogenica approach.

Ontogenica Ltd

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