The dynamics of the 21st Century marketplace, and particularly our new collaborative economy, will increasingly rely on the nature of intangible assets. Understanding how intangible assets add strategic value will be the key to understanding how the collaborative economy works.
The natures of intangible assets are predominantly influenced by communications. Kevin Kelly writes in his book “New Rules for The New Economy: “Communication – which in the end is what the digital technology and media are all about – is not just a sector of the economy. Communication IS the economy.”
Communications are being unleashed by the power of digital technologies which are tapping into the wealth of human capital and creating new value that enhances relationship capital. The enhanced value creation is supported by unlimited structural capital and optimized with strategic capital by those who understand how to turn these intangible assets into tangible results. This new dynamics are changing our mental models of business, redefining work, replacing the meaningless with meaningful and using collaboration to create abundance rather than a scarcity of probable solutions.
At the heart of The Collaborative Economy is a new cultural force based on mass collaboration. The Collaborative Economy is about value creation through open source, peer-to-peer, connected networks were ideas flow without boundaries and shared objectives are united by a common purpose. Mass collaboration has been accelerated as a result of the digital revolution where “free” structural capital, in the form of access to communication networks, collaboration tools, media platforms and the ability to create and share knowledge one to one and to millions at the click of a mouse is available to over 1/3 of the planet.
Leveraging the Wrong Assets
The 20th Century mindset views the Collaborative Economy as being driven by technology rather than the intangible nature of the human network enabled, unleashed and free to create, connect and collaborate on a global scale. Technology is merely the tool. The intangible assets of the human network represent the untapped immeasurable wealth of the 21st century.
Using technology that enables collaboration doesn’t mean you can reap the benefits of collaboration.
Digital technology is being used to extend existing business practices created by the thinking of the few to attempt to engage the many using as little resources as possible. This doesn’t reflect the mindset of a Collaborative Economy.
A Collaborative Economy represents people (Human Capital) collaborating together and with external partners (Relationship Capital) to create new value from shared knowledge (Structural Capital) that meets and exceeds a market need through a viable business models (Strategic Capital).
Smarter Companies understand the Collaborative Economy advances from leveraging the intangible assets.