from scarcity to well-being by the use of all talents
The article ‘From scarcity to well-being by the use of all talents’ shows us how we can build an inclusive society in which each of us can play the important role that suits you best.
In 2018, I published a short article about scarcity and wellbeing. Based on the model stating that the total capital of a person exists of three components, financial, human and social capital I discussed the effects of scarcity in each type of capital. In the following I would like to propose a way of minimizing the scarcity using insight in the available talent.
In the model the total capital of a person consists of three components, the financial capital, the assets someone owns, the human capital, the knowledge, skills and behavior and the social capital, the relations in the networks someone is part of. A lack of financial capital leads to a situation of continuing debt with the related stress. People take several jobs to get out of that situation but looking at the big picture we have to conclude that the difference between people with and without is becoming bigger. Apparently having financial capital to invest leads to more, which comes from the people who get less.
Scarcity of human capital means that what you have learned has no value for others. The result of the scarcity is that you will not be asked anymore to do work. In that case you not any more able to use the human capital to generate financial capital. The end result is also scarcity in financial capital. The thing here is that there might be talents available. In that case training could be used to develop human capital, which is in demand, but because human capital is normally only valued when it can be proven by exams or experience. Possible talents are not valued.
Scarcity of social capital means that one has not enough relations. In that case your existence is not valued resulting in no work or not taking part in society. The possible effects of that, loneliness and depressions, are well known. It might also be that one is not part of the networks necessary to find work; networks which value your human capital.
The existing learning environment for children and adults is not based on detecting talents but on optimizing human capital for labor. This is the result of the industrial revolution where factories were asking for labor with some knowledge to be able to produce goods. The curriculum at schools is determined by the possible demand of the businesses, not by the available talents. This has worked well, economic growth has given prosperity for many.
The current economy is not based on labor, which could be done by robots, but on creativity, which is only available in humans. And the economy is not anymore based on what we produce but on wellbeing. When in a country there is too much difference between what people can do, earn, and what is valued, there will be unrest. So it is very important to detect the available talents and use them, not only when people are young but during their whole life.
Finding and using talents is not looking only for available financial or human capital; the third component, social capital, is just as important. An organization consists of networks, formal apparent networks like project teams but also informal networks like people from the organization sporting together. It is important to have an insight in these networks and how they behave, also in relation to each other. Especially during times of change in the organization, the chance that the informal networks will stay and as such could have a major impact on the changes, is big. The talents of people to make new relations or even to bridge between networks is very important during change in the organization.
When hiring new people, it is important to know who can help the newcomers to integrate; the cost of integration before people are effective in the new organization, are high. In general, it is equal to one year of salary because of lost hours, training, coaching and solving caused problems.
Detecting the talents is one step, but education is the next. This not only applies to education in the first 24 years of your life but your whole life. Education should be the basis for the development of the existing talents. I would even state that when one has the talent to make music but has dyslexia that person should be educated in music and given tools to translate speech into correct text (by the way some managers still use text writers, apparently their talent is not text writing).
In society we need creative people who can make music just as we need text writers. Everyone needs personal learning, your whole life, to develop the talents and relations. Maybe your talents are not very useful when you are young, but they could be very useful when you are old. Personal learning means detecting your own talents and finding the education to develop them
When we want to have social impact by what we do, we have to look at all the talents, in all three dimensions, financial, human and social. We have to optimize the total individual capital so everyone can reach wellbeing without scarcity. Only then we can build an inclusive society where you can have the important role, which fits you the best.
Steef Peters (prof. dr. S.C.A. Peters) ∙ “I am an inspired researcher and lecturer in applied science and especially in the influence of technology on organizations. I aim to apply the results inside the organizations to create new values”. My background as an elementary particle physicist plus more than 20 years’ experience in organization and information technology at financial institutions and other organizations gives me the possibility to analyze organizations at strategic level including determining the effect of technology in the future.