Check out our new endeavor at smarter-companies!

January 2, 2013 by  

As of January, 2013, we are dedicating most of our time to our new venture, smarter-companies a venture dedicated to empowering consultants with tools, training and continuous learning to help them build smarter companies that optimize the return on the intangible capital that drives 80% of corporate value in companies today. (And, yes, the name of this new venture was inspired by the name of this blog, which I started in 2008!)

Our offering includes both open source tools, our own proprietary tools and a marketplace where other consultants can offer their own tools.

Check out our community and become part of the movement to adapt management techniques to the Social Era!

Intangible Capital Reading List on Twitter for 2012-10-11

October 11, 2012 by  

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Intangible Capital Reading List on Twitter for 2012-10-04

October 4, 2012 by  

  • A positive view on how today's technology is making our youth better writers (I agree) http://t.co/LO4zYvhD #

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Intangible Capital Reading List on Twitter for 2012-10-03

October 3, 2012 by  

  • RT @breakingviews: European companies wrote off 76 bln euros of M&A-created intangible assets in 2011. Evaporating goodwill raises the… #

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The Walking Dead

October 2, 2012 by  

part 4 of the “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” series

In the intangible capital version of Joni Mitchell’s lyric, it’s sometimes easiest to understand how intangible capital works by illustrating what happens when it’s “gone.” This month, I’ll describe the fourth* of these called “The Walking Dead.”

Teams or companies with this syndrome are missing the human capital they need to succeed. They fail to hire the right people. They fail to retain the right people. Or, all too often, they lay off the right people for the wrong reasons. Examples of this include:

  • The financial software and services company I heard about last week that is losing its young engineers because they don’t feel appreciated at the same time that the company is running a big innovation project to fuel its future
  • The unforgettable story of how Circuit City’s choice to fire its most experienced (and expensive) salespeople pushed the struggling company over a cliff within 18 months
  • The countless companies that lay their key people off today and then struggle to grow a year later

The message of intangible capital is that the machine driving the success of companies includes four kinds of knowledge. You need all four to succeed. But human capital plays a special role because it is through people that you introduce learning into your organization. The rest of the system gets stale without smart people coming to work every day.

In the United States, we tend to think of people as a cost more than as an asset. This leads managers to make short-term decisions that save money but reduce the productive and innovative capacity of their organizations. Do so at your own risk.

* The first newsletters in this series were about the Exhausted Improvisors, the Lone Rangers and the Starving Dreamers.

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