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10468399680?profile=originalNew Year’s resolutions are just like a lot of corporate goals. They start out sounding great but don’t end up happening as planned. That’s because the primary focus is on the KPI’s, not on building the system to deliver on the KPI’s.
Here's a simple (hopefully not simplistic) analogy: A person has a strategic goal to lose (or gain!) weight. The KPI for this is their monthly weigh-in. Just having the goal is a motivator. But to achieve that goal, a lot of things have to happen. If I’m going to judge their ability to meet the goal, I’m going to take an integrated view of what we call the value creation system.

A value creation system is made up of various kinds of capital. The value creation system this person needs includes the weight loss goal (strategic capital), the training they receive on how to do it (human capital), the support system they get of friends and maybe a nutritionist (relationship capital), a website, app or information they use on exercises or the diet (structural knowledge capital), maybe an exercise bicycle (structural manufactured capital) and an understanding of how their diet affects the environment (natural capital).

The value creation system is like a machine or a factory--it's infrastructure that a person or a company uses to fulfill its goals. For companies, we have good descriptions of the physical infrastructure in financials. But the most important parts are invisible. You need to make the system visible If you want to make the right decisions about how to meet your goals or if you want to get someone (like a bank, an investor, a partner or even an employee) to help you meet them. That’s why integrated thinking and reporting is a critical strategic tool.

If you want to make a New Year’s resolution for yourself or your company, take a systemic view. Here’s a value creation worksheet you can use to model and measure your value creation infrastructure. 

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Thanks to Ken Jarboe at the Athena Alliance (who is going to join the ICKC as soon as he breaks free) for letting us know about the publication of the report of the conference hosted in 2008 by the National Academies in Washington DC entitled Intangible Assets: Measuring and Enhancing Their Contribution to Corporate
Value and Economic Growth: Summary of a Workshop

Back at the time, I wrote a series of posts about the event at Hybrid Vigor (scroll down to July). But please note that the links in those posts don’t work anymore. The presentations are now here (scroll down to June).

My favorite presentation was by Irving Wladawsky-Berger of IBM and MIT on The Transition from the Industrial to the Knowledge Economy for its perspective on the underlying changes in technologies that drove the transition and will drive future change. He sees moves in technology:

* From tangible to intangible

* From automating the back office to automating market-facing systems

* From machines/products to people and services

Speaking with Steve Merrill of the National Academies last week, he told me that limited hard copies are available from and there is a free pdf at

This was an important first conference of its kind in the U.S. Hopefully more to follow!
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