21 Jul 2009  HBS Business Summit

Business Summit: Managing Human Capital—Global Trends and Challenges

Human capital needed for globalization is lacking. Progress is required in important areas such as elevating more women to leadership positions, according to panelists at the HBS Business Summit.

 

Editor's Note: This is a summary of an HBS Business Summit presentation. View a full summary and video of the event on the HBS Centennial Web site linked below.

Date of Event:October 13, 2008
Moderator:David H. Thomas, HBS faculty
Speakers:Ted Childs, Principal, Ted Childs LLC
Ilene Lang, President, Catalyst
Jack Shonkoff, Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development Director Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University
Jide Zeitlin, President, The Keffi Group

According to the panelists, globalization takes place through a foundation of human capital. Yet in many ways, the human capital needed for globalization is lacking. Progress is required in important areas such as elevating more women to leadership positions and having talent strategies that incorporate diversity.

Taking a longer-term view, early childhood interventions are needed to ensure development of tomorrow's workforce, they said. For companies that are global today, it is not effective to manage workers the same in all countries. Managers need to understand cultural differences and adjust their styles, communications, and rewards to fit within each culture.

Key concepts include:

  • Investments in early childhood development are investments in a society's future human capital.
  • The glass ceiling not only holds back women, it holds back business competitiveness.
  • A sound diversity strategy is a talent strategy and a marketplace strategy.
  • Read the in-depth summary

For more coverage and video:
http://www.hbs.edu/centennial/businesssummit/global-business/managing-human-capital-global-trends-and-challenges.html