The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

Leadership of Your Human Capital in the 21st Century

the four C's of human resources, combining aspects of human capital leadership, employee development and HR engagement.

Once upon a time, the President of a company said to sell more of a particular product, and everyone got on it. Today, employees ask why that’s important, how they might be able to package it with other items, if they can co-brand with a favorite vendor and all sorts of ideas. The President quietly thinks, “I don’t remember asking!” But are you open to those ideas? If you want to lead a business or function in 2017, you need to be.  Employees want to be involved and engaged in the success of the operation, not just their own job.

Where business used to be driven by the four P’s — Price, Product, Place, and Promotion — today we have to look through a much larger lens for success. It’s not just about the product; today people want to see organizations that are connected to the community and provide opportunities for their employees. We are now in a world where Uber, AirBNB and E-bay have rewritten the rules of business and employee engagement.

In my keynote presentation – Employees, Can’t live with ‘em, Can’t live without ‘em, I talk about the ups and downs of leadership in this world. I refer to the 4 C’s of human resources – although it’s not a unique concept.  There seem to be a number of iterations of C’s. Harvard Business Review talks about the C’s of leadership development, and Forbes discussed this in terms of enlightened leaders in this article. Personally, I think of the 4c’s in terms of human capital leadership, employee development and human resource engagement combined. The four C’s I refer to in my speeches and HR training include:

Culture — It drives your organization whether you realize it or not. Employees see how you behave and use that information to make decisions on your behalf. Culture is what they talk about in public, and used to encourage others to engage with you – or stay away!

Creation – New products and processes are being developed ever day in your business. Do you even know about them? Are employees given permission to fail – allowing them to experiment and try new things? Remember the famous quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”  Allow your people to fail and learn.

Collaboration – Employees of all ages today want to collaborate. This doesn’t mean your office has to be an entertainment zone, but you need space for people to sit and chat. There is an expectation that input from others will be the norm, without always calling a formal meeting. A great way to show your team they are valued is to ask for input, we all have something to offer. Tap into your team’s potential as often as you can.

Connection – This may be human resources tip #1. Employees want to be connected to you and your businesses. They want the company tee-shirt, and hope that you will remember the name of their children. In my HR presentations I remind, “We spend more time with those we work with than the people we chose to spend our lives with, we’ve got to make it work.” Connection doesn’t have to mean your best friend is at work, but people need to feel a connection within their teams.

The old ways don’t work anymore when leading employees, and today employees need to be led – not managed.  Think about the various iterations of the four C’s and find a way that will work in your organization to drive long term values.

Lori Kleiman is an HR expert and HR speaker who conducted over 30 seminars in 2016 to business people and HR professionals sharing best practices and new initiatives. If you’d like to have Lori keynote one of her HR presentations at your upcoming event, click here, or email Lori directly at!
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