The 21st century is fast becoming what could be termed the 'Age of the Brain.' The management world is flooded with ideas about winning talent wars, managing knowledge workers, and boosting innovation, but most of this boils down to a single aspiration: gaining a competitive advantage by adding to and leveraging the collective brainpower of organizations.
It's a relatively recent trend. In the past, business organizations didn't need as many highly educated employees. They mostly required unskilled and semi-skilled workers who were directed by tiers of managers. Businesses needed strong backs and nimble fingers as much as or more than they needed large numbers of good thinkers.