The U.S. economy has experienced a massive shift over the past several decades as value creation has migrated from manufacturing to services. This shift has brought the productivity of people into focus as the marginal returns on investment in materials optimization are diminishing and offshore labor cost arbitrage advantages are eaten away by high rates of turnover and questions about quality. Today’s environment is intensely competitive regardless of industry—shop floors are lean, supply chains optimized, indirect spend is being controlled, and non-core business processes have been outsourced. Companies are increasingly relying on their people to drive differentiation. Service companies aside, many product companies focus their efforts on R&D, sales, marketing, and customer service to effectively compete as they’ve outsourced some or all of their traditional manufacturing processes.