chapter  4
21 Pages

HR 4.0

The Profit wave (1980–2010)
ByAlan Watkins, Nick Dalton

HR 4.0 Profit is still the dominant approach in most modern businesses today and their HR functions (2020). What’s especially striking about this P-wave is that it is widely seen as the pinnacle of human development, even though it’s not. As with all waves before it, initially business and society boomed. Growth accelerated, profits soared, and many people made “loadsamoney” for the first time.

But inevitably, the Profit wave started to fail – laid bare following the global financial crisis. The bubble had burst. Greed was no longer “good.” The Ponzi scheme of credit built on exploiting the vulnerable or less capable in society came tumbling down.

Business can be a phenomenal force for good, but often that success has been polluted by excessive greed and manipulation, which has in turn polluted the planet and created significant global problems, from escalating inequality to global warming. The good news is that the tide has already turned, and the leading edge of thinking has already moved beyond HR 4.0 Profit to HR 5.0 People. The best companies and the best people departments have already started to change the game.