The Journal Record: HR as a profit center? One exec says it’s possible

Bollig: HR as a profit center? One exec says it’s possible

By: Jake Bollig February 19, 2015 0


As I travel across the great state of Oklahoma, I keep my eyes and ears open for new ways of thinking and new tools that can help drive business. When I come across an innovative person or company I do my best to learn their methodology so that I can share it with others.

I recently sat down with Clark Ingram, the Founder of People Profits, a firm dedicated to redesigning human capital strategies. Clark is on a crusade to redefine how human resources should be handled.

First, I had to learn more about why he thinks his strategy is any different than the strategies that already exist.
My expectations were pretty low going into the interview, but he sparked my attention with his first statement.
“I want you to know that I look at HR from the financial side,” he said. “I use numbers and I talk numbers. Human capital is a great asset and should be a profit center, not a cost center.”
Instead of using common HR terms such as culture, diversity, talent analytics and workforce planning, he speaks of increased revenues, net profits and productivity.

I learned that he has spent over 25 years in the human resources field, has an MBA and is financially focused. It is a unique combination, but I still needed to know more before I was convinced that this is a game-changer.

He opened up about a proprietary process that he calls 3-for-4. The essence of his strategy is how he implements tools to make the financial burden of four employees equivalent to three. He does a much better job of explaining the process, and it appears to have some validity.

I asked Clark if he really thinks he can change the game and he told me a story.

“Many years ago, when the automobile first came out, a belief existed that if you went over 35 miles per hour in a car then you would die,” he said. “The thought was that the body simply couldn’t handle that speed. And right now businesses think that you can’t make human resources a profit center.”

Will People Profits change the way that businesses handle HR? I don’t know, but it might be worth sitting down with Clark for a cup of coffee to find out.

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