The one sentence summary

It is our moral and ethical duty to create humane workplaces.


  • The traditional business model is broken. We need to shift from command and control to humanized management. The book provides a series of case studies from the public and private sector, SMEs, and non-profits.
  • Out of this fall 8 pillars of humane capital, which are:
  • Mindset: move from viewing people as resources to them being the unique asset that creates all value.
  • Motivation: from lifeless to reluctant to enthusiastic.
  • Higher purpose: a lack of it derails everything.
  • Alignment of values: employees need to be engaged enough to want to change
  • Alignment of people and systems: everyone needs to be ready for the shift.
  • Self-organisation of employees in communities: hire right-minded people and let them get on with it.
  • Caring ethos: from fear and ignorance to common good and humanity.
  • Organizational learning process: the process never stops.


Helpful advice for leaders across all categories includes:

  • Leaders must show vulnerability and humility, not perfection.
  • Have a clear vision that can be adjusted on the journey.
  • Articulate what the company stands for in a simple way and communicate that continuously.
  • Have a blank sheet mentality – question everything and use a trial and error approach.
  • Speed date with employees to elicit their views.
  • Let go of control.
  • Choose values that support a focus on people
  • Work flexibly with people, depending on their life circumstances.
  • Delegate tasks to free up time for strategic issues.
  • Manage complexity through simplicity – keep things simple.
  • Allow people to step up as leaders.
  • Commit to a high-level mission or purpose and stick to it.
  • Provide ways for employees to share ideas for innovation.
  • Ensure transparency and openness.
  • Hire on the basis of character, personality and cultural fit, not the CV.
  • Be yourself and act naturally in line with what feels right, not the spreadsheet.


  • There is no one short definition of humane capital – you have to look at the whole book to get the total picture.
  • This is closer to a textbook than a relaxed read.