Skip to main content

Teachers: The Wellspring Of Human Capital

Is human capital important to you and your competitive strategy?  Yes?  A good but incomplete answer.

In "Attracting and retaining top talent in US teaching" McKinsey & Company's Social Sector Practice addresses the questions of who should teach and how to attract more young people from the top tier of college graduates into the teaching profession.
"McKinsey’s survey of nearly 1,500 top-third US college students and current teachers, highlighted in the report, shows that a major effort would be needed to attract and retain the best students to teaching. The stakes are high: recent McKinsey research found that a persistent achievement gap between US students and those in top-performing nations imposes the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession."
"...the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession."  Think about it.

Then think for a moment about the SOURCE of human capital. Can you create - through training, hiring or stealing - all the human capital your organization needs now and into the future?  You can try.  You'll be in good company.  But you'll fail. Good company there, too.

If human capital matters, then so does the wellspring: schools, teaching and teachers.  Right now, I don't see any more important discussion on the national scene than the poor and declining performance of U.S. schools.

After all, how does it benefit a civilization to promise millions access to a "reformed" health system if that same civilization can't produce competent, adaptable physicians, nurses and leaders?

By now, dear readers, you both should know what's coming next.  Asking what if...?  And why not...?  What can you do?   Well, with the proper attitude of servant leadership and without waiting for conflicted taxpayers to vote for increased taxes, you could...
  • Get involved in your local schools, at all levels.  
  • Encourage your leaders to do the same.
  • Invest your time, your expertise and, maybe, some money.  
  • Teach. Yes, you.  Get in front of a class.  You'll learn quickly which of your ideas are respect-worthy and which are crap.
  • Offer - and pay for - scholarships for outstanding students.  
  • Pay bonuses to outstanding teachers.  Name the bonus program after a distinguished physician.  S/he'll love it and so will the school.  Fund it from your PR budget.
  • Create fellowships for promising young people willing to return and contribute.
  • Establish internships, not just for clinicians. Paid, unpaid, it doesn't matter.  Just introduce kids to possibilities and let ambition take over.
  • Begin recognition programs for the best and brightest.
  • Devote time to mentoring programs.
  • Start an alumni program, keeping track of your own former employees and graduates.  Need to hire?  Start with the list of who you know.
Above all, change your mindset.  If you see it as just another hit to your expense budget, you've already lost the battle.  These are investments in your own future, not expenses.  Call it your "Human Capital Survival Budget."

Send me your ideas and additions to the list.  Let me know what you're trying and the results.  E-mail (healthcarestrategist@gmail.com) or leave a comment.

More ramblings about human capital here;

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at hhnmag.com offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…

Another Day, Another App, Another Satisfied Customer

How might health care providers use technology to turn customers' mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices? A few years ago, the NY Times outlined how retailers are doing it...
"(Designer Norma) Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.
...

Cisco Systems, the supplier of networking equipment and services for the Internet, is also a leader in the field. The company’s Mobile Concierge system is capable of connecting customers’ smartphones to retailers’ wireless networks — so a shopper could type “Cheez Whiz” into a cellphone, then pinpoint its location in the store." Ms. Kamali's boutique installed a technology called ScanLife, "allowing people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the…