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  • June 18, 1999
  • News

KM Summit news: Value your intangible assets, says Allee

Verna Allee, president of the Integral Performance Group, gave the opening keynote speech at the Third Annual KM Leadership Summit around the theme "Creating Value from Knowledge."

Allee's main argument was that organizations base their value assessments on industrial-age measurements like productivity, efficiencies, and hard-dollar ROI. In the knowledge age, she argued, value should focus more on intangible assets like intellectual capital, customer/strategic relationships, brand image and competence of workers. "We can't explain value in old terms anymore," she said.

This shift in valuation will rival the industrial revolution, Allee predicted. Traditional value chains, she said, incorporating goods, services and revenue must now add knowledge (e.g. exchange of strategic information, planning and process knowledge, collaborative design, policy development) and intangible assets (benefits beyond actual service, e.g. sense of customer loyalty). Allee noted organizations like the SEC and World Bank who are creating ways to place value on intangible assets as acceptable accounting practices.

Allee closed by listing some steps towards valuing knowledge and intangible assets: learn the strategic language of intangibles, and know how to talk about it with your customers;appreciate that technologies are mechanisms that support knowledge networks, realizing that knowledge is really about people communicating with people; and embrace new ethics, tools and lenses with which to judge value.

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