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The Challenge of Human Capital

Shawn Moon

March 2017


Just under a century ago, top business leaders in North America formed an organization called the Conference Board.


Its purpose was to get at the truth about what makes business work, and it’s still going strong. A scientific enterprise, it’s a quiet place that collects data and dispassionately crunches it in an effort to find out what’s really going on with the economy.



For many years, the Conference Board has surveyed prominent business leaders across the globe to identify their most critical challenge. Its most recent answer might surprise you: Human Capital. What does that mean? Human capital? Don’t they mean financial capital? Why are they worried about human capital? Why is that a top-of-mind issue?


In Today’s world, with all its attendant challenges, moving pieces, and barrage of information, the key factor between the organizations that will sustain success and those that don’t will be the ability to engage one’s people to bring their very best. It is the ultimate competitive advantage.


From our experience, gained from the thousands of organizations that have engaged us to help them achieve results where behavioral change is required, we have found that leaders across the globe agree that engaging their talent is their top priority now. They know about the dramatic difference between a company with engaged employees and one with disengaged ones—and how that difference matters more than anything. The ultimate competitive advantage belongs to organizations that can get the best contribution possible from the best people they can find. In simple terms, it means inspiring and motivating people to bring the best they can give. 

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Shawn Moon

Shawn D. Moon is an Executive Vice-President of FranklinCovey, where he is responsible for the company’s U.S. and International direct offices, the Sales Performance Practice, and the Execution and Speed of Trust Practices. Shawn has more than 25 years of experience in leadership and management, sales and marketing, program development, and consulting services. Shawn has been on faculty for instructing senior leaders at FranklinCovey’s Executive Leadership Week.


Shawn was previously a Principal with Mellon Financial Corporation where he was responsible for business development for their Human Resources outsourcing services. Shawn also coordinated activities within the consulting and advisory community for Mellon Human Resources and Investor Solutions. Prior to November 2002, he served as the Vice-President of Business Development for the Training Process Outsourcing Group of the company, managed vertical market sales for nine of the company’s business units, and managed the eastern regional sales office.