The future of work is human

Read why people can’t be neglected in the future of work. Although organizations emphasize technology and its promise, people hold huge, measurable value.

This study from the Korn Ferry Institute challenges the assumptions that have put technology at the forefront of the corporate mindset with beliefs that tangible assets are more valuable than intangible ones; that people are bottom-line costs, rather than top-line value generators; and that technology, not humans, is essential to organizations’ success in the future of work.

Key findings:

  • An economic analysis commissioned by Korn Ferry finds that human capital represents a potential value of $1,215 trillion to the global economy. It is 2.33 times that of physical capital, which includes tangible assets like technology, real estate, and inventory.
  • Although organizations often put technology in the spotlight in the future of work, it is, in fact, human capital that holds the greatest value for organizations now and in the future.
  • Human capital is the greatest value creator available to organizations: For every $1 invested in human capital, $11.39 is added to GDP.
  • There are two key reasons why people represent value: potential and appreciation. The performance of people can be influenced – hence it has great potential.
    • People have empathy and the more senior they become, the more they grow their ability to generate further value.
    • In economic terms: People, as assets, appreciate. This distinguishes them from physical assets, which operate at a limited maximum output and which typically depreciate over time.