Jac Fitz-enz, or Dr. “Jac” as he prefers, the acknowledged father of human capital metrics and founder of the Saratoga Institute, will be one of several presenters at the Talent Management Magazine Strategy 2010 Conference in Atlanta March 3-5. Generator Group is excited to be attending as a guest of our partners at PreVisor.
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jac at a conference in the mid 1980s where the attendance for his session was a small but intense group of HR professionals. At the time, his views were extremely unorthodox. He wanted HR to be measured, improved and held accountable. He wanted HR to be able to prove how it contributed to the bottom line. Today it makes sense – back then he was talking heresy. It was a long hard road to advocate, educate and influence the business world, but several books, awards and successful companies later, he’s still going. Recently, he was cited as one of the 50 people in the past 50 years who has significantly changed what HR does and how it does it.
When I met him again, it was 20 years later. He was standing in our boardroom in Beaverton, Oregon greeting our team and considering becoming a part of an advisory group for our talent management software. I spoke with him of the earlier meeting and he told me that was the time when the Saratoga “Institute” was a desk in his bedroom. From that desk he grew his benchmarking service to cover 2,000 companies in a dozen countries.
Today, Dr. Jac, is in his mid-70s. He sold the Saratoga Institute when he turned 65 but he did not retire. He formed a new company and continued his research. His latest book, due out in May, is entitled The New HR Analytics where he goes beyond benchmarking. As he explains, benchmarking is about the past and we can’t manage the past. In his new book, Dr. Jac reveals how to predict the continuing value of present and future human capital investments. I’m really looking forward to hearing his new methods and approach.
By the way, I could have hired Dr. Jac as a consultant to my company that first year I heard him speak. I knew what he was onto would change the world of human resources – but, I hadn’t found my voice yet. I didn’t think I could convince my executives to spend the money it would have taken to hire him – but here’s the catch – I didn’t even ask. Did I miss a transformational moment? Or was it too ahead of its time? (as Dr. Jac says, it took many, many years, before people “got it.”)
As we’ve been talking to people about our new Talent Management practice, we’ve found people who don’t get it, too. It’s OK. We know we’re ahead of the curve. It’s a good place to be.
– Elaine Lees, Partner & VP Talent Management