One of the challenges of business today is that most of the drivers of innovation, performance and value aren’t visible. That’s because mainstream accounting and management systems aren’t built to track and measure digital assets, knowledge and collaboration. Yet these intangible assets make up 80% of the value of the average business.

A lot of the solutions that I have seen over the years try to over-simplify what’s going on. Human capital folks will tell you it’s about people. IT folks will tell you it’s about systems and data. Intellectual capital practitioners will tell you it’s about IP. Marketers will tell you it’s about reputation. Strategists will tell you it’s about business model.

The truth is that it’s about all of these things. A company’s ability to innovate and grow, its ability to generate better profits and performance, its ability to create lasting, realizable value—they all depend on intangible capital.

So it’s important to understand each piece of the puzzle and also how they all fit together. It’s especially important to be able to measure how the pieces work together as a system. But this is hard to do because intangibles are mostly invisible. You can’t walk around an office or a factory and get a good feel for what’s going on inside peoples’ heads or their computers.

That’s why it can be really helpful to identify and measure the unique intangibles of a company. And put those measures into an easy-to-understand visual format. In our new paper ICounts Graphs – Six Cases we show how this approach can paint a picture of these invisible but very important assets.

The examples shown here are outtakes from two of the six cases. You can see that these companies each have very different challenges and opportunities. That’s the way it should be. No two companies are alike. And their measurement systems should make that clear.

If you like the way we are measuring intangibles with ICounts Tools, we’d be happy to help you measure your own or your clients’ businesses. Or create your own system. The important thing is to make your intangibles tangible. To make it easy to find barriers to success and opportunities for growth.

Your future success depends on intangibles. Take control of that future.

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