News & Notes


Stephen Blair Venable Develops “Human Assets Organization” (HAO) Concept


The term “human assets organization” (or HAO) was coined by author and futurist Stephen Blair Venable in his landmark book The Commencement Odyssey: Why We All Have a Stake in Transforming the American Workplace. (See In the text, Venable explains that perhaps the most significant effect of the transition from a products‐based economy to the so‐called knowledge economy is that the majority of the market capitalization (or value) of S & P 500 companies now consists of human know‐how and intellectual property rather than so‐called hard assets such as real estate, equipment, and cash. Venable explains that “this change alone is so significant that it will usher in an entirely new kind of organization.” Venable calls this new organizational model the “human assets organization” (HAO). Venable goes on to present a veritable blueprint for building and sustaining the successful HAO of the future – an organization that, according to Venable, is “ergonomically suited for the human psyche and built upon a depth of understanding of human beings.”