Value is being redefined. Value is no longer dominated by the accumulation of money and other tangible assets that appeared on balance sheets. Value is now largely defined by an organizations ability to create more value from intangible assets.
Intangible assets represent a different kind of capital which gets c0-created and consumed by the stakeholders, internal and external. Capital creation is accomplished through the interaction of human, relationship, strategic and structural assets through an ongoing exchange of data, communications and ultimately transactions.
In the old days money was accumulated to buy tangible assets used to scale manufacturing of goods to be sold to the market. That was known as the consumer era where capital was increased by selling more through mass marketing which accomplished mass consumption. Humans were considered assets and were used to produce more. Consumer relationships were considered nothing more than a transaction from the sale of goods and services. Structure and strategy were something that was designed, controlled and used by the few to leverage human and physical assets to produce more. The tangible results of all these efforts were money. Wall Street rewarded those that produce the most money and accumulated the most assets. The BIG got BIGGER while the small got smaller. Then things changed and now the small are getting BIGGER and the BIG are getting small.
Intangible Assets Create More in The Social Era
For the last ten years or so we’ve witnessed dramatic shifts in economics fueled by technological advancements. The biggest shift has come from the enablement of the human network to influence the behavior of markets, the decisions of politicians and the continued reinvention of business as unusual. The enablement of the human network has been powered by the social connectivity of user generated media. The Social Era has created tangible results from intangible capital.
The ongoing interaction of human, relationship, strategic and structural assets is indeed creating intangible capital that outweighs the value of all previously created tangible capital. Smarter Companies are those that deeply understand the shifts required to accumulate, facilitate, communicate and co-create more and more value from the intangibles. Smarter Companies measure the right things and trust the intangibles will produce things right.
Creating more in the Social Era requires leaders to understand a new set of rules. The rules are simply learn and teach people and organizations how to create more value from the intangibles.