Beyond HR: The New Science of Human Capital by John W Boudreau and Peter M Ramstad

Reviewed by Bob Little
Managing people is vital to organisational success – and being able to do this well is among business leaders’ top concerns.  John W Boudreau and Peter M Ramstad, argue that the answer lies not only with how the HR function is organised, rewarded and evaluated, it also lies in a profound change in the way business leaders are held accountable for their decisions about the talent resources under their stewardship.
Boudreau and Ramstad have developed a new decision science that they call ‘talentship’. Through talentship, organisations move beyond the prevalent reactive mindset and build organisational effectiveness by improving decisions that affect or depend on human capital.
The book’s 256 pages include a structure for improving decisions about how to enhance individual contributions and to enhance the way that individuals interact in formal and informal organisational designs and structures. At a stroke – well, over 256 pages – the authors offer cogently argued insights and practical advice to revise the way that organisations view ‘HR’. This reviewer can hardly wait for Boudreau and Ramstad to follow this book with a sequel of equal magnitude and import – on a simple but revolutionary system to ensure world peace.