“The Force of Human Resources” is the third in a 10-part series outlining the concepts included in “The Physics of HR; Mastering the Laws of Motion,” the Whitaker joint set to publish in mid-2016.

You probably guessed we would arrive here. In the first post of this series, I crystallized the HR function into a four-word statement – “We Make People Move.” Is it an over-simplification? Maybe, but keep listening and see if I can bring you around.

For two years, those of you who have been paying attention have commented on the prominence of Newton’s Cradle in my branding, my imagery, and even in the background of my webinars. That’s no accident – Newton is my muse. Watching a set of silver balls in motion was THE seminal moment in my belief in the Science of Human Resources; the whole kit and caboodle illustrated by a desk toy.


  1. An object A person at rest will remain at rest unless an external force acts upon it.
  2. An object A person in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it.

Get it? Is that amazing or what – how many times have you felt like a “force?” Not a common descriptor for Human Resources in my 20+years of service, but that’s what we have the ability to be.

An organization, an individual, an employee – each either at rest or in motion, respectively, and each subject to change should an external HR Force act upon it. You could probably list a dozen ways of the top of your head where Human Resources has played a part (sometimes unintentionally, by the way) in changing the uniform motion that exists at a point in time. Pulling, pushing, stopping, starting, attracting, repelling – we’re a force, man, believe it.

This idea of how we can consciously and purposefully change the course of employees and organizations is the veritable hamster running on the wheel inside my head.

Tell me – are you feeling it? If not, keep reading – my hamster’s just getting started.

Next up: Newton’s Second Law of Motion, making it matter…