Should we immediately stop functioning as we have in the past, trade in outmoded tools and practices, and focus talent strategy exclusively on intellectual capital? Probably not—the shift required will not likely happen overnight.

A visit to the local hardware store is proof enough that one economic age doesn’t simply end while another begins. There are still plenty of shovels, axes, saws, hammers, and pretty much any other hand tool that was standard fare in the preindustrial, artisanal world. By the same token, the trappings of the industrial world aren’t going away anytime soon either.

The industrial age, fueled by science and new sources of energy in the mid-eighteenth century, has seen vastly more productivity than any other time ...

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