Accrediting Managers at Work in the 21st Century




Professor KC Chan and Dr. Kevin Vince Fernando

The outcomes of human capital development are capability to perform, excellence in execution and a culture of continuous learning. The purpose of talent management is to attract, keep, develop and engage talented people, i.e. human capital. Thus, human capital development and talent management is the ultimate sustainable competitive advantage of any organization.


In essence, human capital is recognition and respect for people, in organizations and businesses, who contribute to development and growth, in a similar way as physical assets. The collective attitudes, skills and knowledge combine to create the abilities of people within organizations that enable the achievement of organizational performance and productivity goals. Expenditures in training, development, health and support is an investment, not just an expense. Right investment in human capital will appreciate with time.

Human capital development strategy needs to be driven by the business strategy and the capabilities required. Next is identifying the right people to be trained and developed. Effectiveness of training and development can be measured / experienced by the improvements made / observed during the performance of work/projects. See Figure 1. People with the right attitude, practice results-driven leadership displaying good potential, assume full accountability for decisions, etc. should be promoted through a fast track into roles of increased responsibility and scope.

Structured training, development and career advancement actions will attract a consistent flow of the best talent. Continuous talent and leadership potential assessment is important. Leaders need to supplement training, development and career advancement of their talent with coaching and mentoring support, providing feedback on their strengths and weaknesses; giving them stretch assignments/targets and getting them to cross functions and geographic borders.



The Assessment Centre provides a structured mechanism to conduct competency profiling  test on the human capital, capture his/her performance scores before and after training and development programs, chart out career plans and manage the transition of his/her successor. It ensures human capital investment is only made on talents that can be developed.

The Centre of Excellence is to measure the outcome of the investments in talented staff. At any time organizations have multiple ongoing projects. These projects may be classified as light-weight, medium-weight and heavy-weight in terms of project complexity and their contribution to improved business performance and results. Light-weight, medium-weight and heavy-weight projects are used as a barometer to measure the different levels of leadership competencies of a manager. The sum of these talents managing different types and complexities of projects contribute to the organization’s execution excellence.

The Learning and Innovation Development Centre ensure that the building blocks of competence training is aligned with the needs of the customer and remain customer-centric. The different types of competencies drive continuous learning and development to higher levels of competence and capability to perform and cope with constant changes in business requirements.




Assessment Centre is to identify the right people and the right development needs; Learning and Innovation Development Centre to equip the people with the right attitude and the right competence; Centre of Excellence drives successful execution of different types and complexities of projects as the school for leadership development to inculcate the sense of full accountability and results-driven behaviour.

Human capital development and talent management myopia and myth must be eradicated. Organizations that focus on improving individual competence alone is not good enough. Companies that focus on improving project team leadership to become a high performance organization is inadequate. Organizations that enhance human capital competence and expose these talented project managers to hone their leadership skills from light-weight through to heavy-weight projects will improve the execution capability of the organization. Only when the organization transition change management progresses from Ad Hoc to Planned to Managed to Integrated and Optimized stage then the organization has attained a homogenous culture of supreme performance.

Human capital development and talent management is easier said than done. It cannot be developed overnight. It requires top management conscientious efforts, whole-hearted commitment and long-term conviction to invest in people, not just strategy.