John Dumay and I led a short workshop to kick off the Future of IC project at ICICKM in Hong Kong last week. Here is a summary of the discussions about the barriers and enablers of the adoption of IC in mainstream business:

BARRIERS

  • Using the vocabulary of IC and KM
  • Complexity of IC concepts
  • Disregard the tacit knowledge
  • We have a hammer, everything looks like a nail
  • Top managers don’t believe in IC/KM
  • Messianic approach
  • Lack clear or  agreed definition of IC and KM
  • Lack of ROI story
  • Stuck in closed academic network without real world connection
  • Lack of clear map of how IC and KM will deliver
     


ENABLERS
  • Collaborative discussion and innovation
  • Link it with the underlying business systems
  • Develop a message for business community
  • Get a new model for communicating with business people
  • Leadership commitment
  • Work within current business system (current accounting and reporting models)
  • Capturing more data about the humans inside the organization
Hope this prompts some follow-up discussion... What do you think?

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Replies to This Discussion

Intangibles for Dummies?

It has occurred to me that one of the significant barriers to the widespread adoption of concepts associated with recognising, measuring, developing and maintaining intangible capital comes back to a lack of awareness and clear understanding of the concepts. If the mainstream literature on IC continues to be couched in more complex terms, concepts, theories etc, this may reinforce the distance rather than bringing in potential adopters to the IC world. Building upon the scalable attributes of the circular response theory, it appears that if we can find better solutions to raise awareness amongst ‘practitioners’ (i.e. the real business people that Mary has referred to in another post) this will in turn support, raise the profile of and promote the adoption of IC in mainstream business.

It is my concern that the development of IC within mainstream business will be limited by the seemingly ‘rarefied aura’ of IC amongst business. Mary, your summary of the barriers and enablers raised in the ICICKM workshop appear to cover all of the concerns raised above.

So it would be useful to learn from fellow members of the IC knowledge center on how they think we could reduce the complexity of IC concepts down to clearly understandable definitions and theories best suited to the business world, and any thoughts on innovative communication methods and models that may get mainstream business to sit up and take notice. The future of IC group appears to be an ideal forum to do this and I am looking forward to learning more from group members.

Peter
Yes, the thinking behind the "Dummies" series is absolutely the way to go! Here's how we are going to try to facilitate this on the ICKC:

1-Gather stories about real-life experiences on the ground. That is the purpose of the story-gathering exercise in this "Future of IC" group. Please help this by contributing stories yourself and soliciting stories from others.
2-Sketch out a simple "open source" approach that can be shared and tested in the market. This is what I think you are calling for in your comments above.
3-In keeping with the open-source approach, we would continue to gather user community feedback and adapt the methodology accordingly over time.

By promoting a shared IC 101 approach, we as a community can help drive interest and demand in IC.

Rather than taking away business from IC experts, it should create plenty of opportunities for IC experts to support organizations that want to move beyond this first-stage approach.

Please let me know what you think and help us get the word out. The first stage is to gather as many stories as we can.
Hi Peter,

Love the IC for dummies idea! One of the key messages I picked up @ the conference was the lack of awareness of what IC is. I recently presented a 10 minute talk @ a CPA Australia meeting and asked the Accountants what IC was. Not one person could give me an answer! So if the professions don't understand it, then why or how would a manager know what IC is? The trouble is that practitioners and academics keep trying to develop better mousetraps to measure IC and they are normally concerned with measuring IC first. My atitude is that we develop IC before we even think about measuring it (if that is even possible). It is about developing IC to make a the organisation function better. More profit? Who knows. The complexity of how a profit is created goes beyond a simple cause and effect relationship between developing IC and and the impact on the income statement.

Peter Spence said:
Intangibles for Dummies?

It has occurred to me that one of the significant barriers to the widespread adoption of concepts associated with recognising, measuring, developing and maintaining intangible capital comes back to a lack of awareness and clear understanding of the concepts. If the mainstream literature on IC continues to be couched in more complex terms, concepts, theories etc, this may reinforce the distance rather than bringing in potential adopters to the IC world. Building upon the scalable attributes of the circular response theory, it appears that if we can find better solutions to raise awareness amongst ‘practitioners’ (i.e. the real business people that Mary has referred to in another post) this will in turn support, raise the profile of and promote the adoption of IC in mainstream business.

It is my concern that the development of IC within mainstream business will be limited by the seemingly ‘rarefied aura’ of IC amongst business. Mary, your summary of the barriers and enablers raised in the ICICKM workshop appear to cover all of the concerns raised above.

So it would be useful to learn from fellow members of the IC knowledge center on how they think we could reduce the complexity of IC concepts down to clearly understandable definitions and theories best suited to the business world, and any thoughts on innovative communication methods and models that may get mainstream business to sit up and take notice. The future of IC group appears to be an ideal forum to do this and I am looking forward to learning more from group members.

Peter


Dr John Dumay said:
Hi Peter,

Love the IC for dummies idea! One of the key messages I picked up @ the conference was the lack of awareness of what IC is. I recently presented a 10 minute talk @ a CPA Australia meeting and asked the Accountants what IC was. Not one person could give me an answer! So if the professions don't understand it, then why or how would a manager know what IC is? The trouble is that practitioners and academics keep trying to develop better mousetraps to measure IC and they are normally concerned with measuring IC first. My atitude is that we develop IC before we even think about measuring it (if that is even possible). It is about developing IC to make a the organisation function better. More profit? Who knows. The complexity of how a profit is created goes beyond a simple cause and effect relationship between developing IC and and the impact on the income statement.

Peter Spence said:
Intangibles for Dummies?

It has occurred to me that one of the significant barriers to the widespread adoption of concepts associated with recognising, measuring, developing and maintaining intangible capital comes back to a lack of awareness and clear understanding of the concepts. If the mainstream literature on IC continues to be couched in more complex terms, concepts, theories etc, this may reinforce the distance rather than bringing in potential adopters to the IC world. Building upon the scalable attributes of the circular response theory, it appears that if we can find better solutions to raise awareness amongst ‘practitioners’ (i.e. the real business people that Mary has referred to in another post) this will in turn support, raise the profile of and promote the adoption of IC in mainstream business.

It is my concern that the development of IC within mainstream business will be limited by the seemingly ‘rarefied aura’ of IC amongst business. Mary, your summary of the barriers and enablers raised in the ICICKM workshop appear to cover all of the concerns raised above.

So it would be useful to learn from fellow members of the IC knowledge center on how they think we could reduce the complexity of IC concepts down to clearly understandable definitions and theories best suited to the business world, and any thoughts on innovative communication methods and models that may get mainstream business to sit up and take notice. The future of IC group appears to be an ideal forum to do this and I am looking forward to learning more from group members.

Peter
Hi John,
I agree that our priorities should fall in the order of raising awareness of what IC is; developing IC; and then focussing on how we measure IC. Your experience with the general lack of awareness and understanding amongst professionals of what IC actually is a familiar experience with my work/research in the field of negotiation and collaboration development. If practitioners do not know what IC (or any concept) is, they will see very little need for it and this then slows the evolution of the IC movement.
When we achieve wider awareness, acceptance and development of IC in organisations then we will have a much larger pool of people who can contribute to further development of theory and practice (including measurement) – I suppose this approach reflects the actual IC development spiral flowing between HC, RC and SC and is consistent with Mary’s shared IC 101 approach expressed in this thread.
I also support Mary’s that through collaboration in this area, we will not take away work from various experts, but create more opportunities and value for us all – the open source concept that Mary has mentioned is aligned to this view – both in development of the theory and methodology behind IC, as well various ‘enabler’ tools and models – i.e. further development of analysis (including network analysis), accounting and reporting systems.
Thank you Mary for the opportunity to be a part of this - I hope other members are just as enthusiastic to participate so that we may build from the current IC base.

Peter




Dr John Dumay said:
Hi Peter,

Love the IC for dummies idea! One of the key messages I picked up @ the conference was the lack of awareness of what IC is. I recently presented a 10 minute talk @ a CPA Australia meeting and asked the Accountants what IC was. Not one person could give me an answer! So if the professions don't understand it, then why or how would a manager know what IC is? The trouble is that practitioners and academics keep trying to develop better mousetraps to measure IC and they are normally concerned with measuring IC first. My atitude is that we develop IC before we even think about measuring it (if that is even possible). It is about developing IC to make a the organisation function better. More profit? Who knows. The complexity of how a profit is created goes beyond a simple cause and effect relationship between developing IC and and the impact on the income statement.

Peter Spence said:
Intangibles for Dummies?

It has occurred to me that one of the significant barriers to the widespread adoption of concepts associated with recognising, measuring, developing and maintaining intangible capital comes back to a lack of awareness and clear understanding of the concepts. If the mainstream literature on IC continues to be couched in more complex terms, concepts, theories etc, this may reinforce the distance rather than bringing in potential adopters to the IC world. Building upon the scalable attributes of the circular response theory, it appears that if we can find better solutions to raise awareness amongst ‘practitioners’ (i.e. the real business people that Mary has referred to in another post) this will in turn support, raise the profile of and promote the adoption of IC in mainstream business.

It is my concern that the development of IC within mainstream business will be limited by the seemingly ‘rarefied aura’ of IC amongst business. Mary, your summary of the barriers and enablers raised in the ICICKM workshop appear to cover all of the concerns raised above.

So it would be useful to learn from fellow members of the IC knowledge center on how they think we could reduce the complexity of IC concepts down to clearly understandable definitions and theories best suited to the business world, and any thoughts on innovative communication methods and models that may get mainstream business to sit up and take notice. The future of IC group appears to be an ideal forum to do this and I am looking forward to learning more from group members.

Peter
Great to have allies like you, Peter and John! I'll be sending an email blast to the current community members. Any ideas about getting the word out beyond the community will be appreciated, Mary

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