How do you treat your company’s intellectual capital?
The BusinessDirectory.com definition of intellectual capital is a “collective knowledge of the individuals in an organization or society.” It includes customer capital, human capital, intellectual property and structural capital.
Although largely intangible and very often difficult to measure, intellectual capital is now widely regarded as a true capital expense for a company. The reason for this is because the investment in and replacement of employees is similar to the capital investment required to purchase machinery, plants, technology and software. At the same time, the education and training expenses incurred in maintaining the performance of “human” assets are equivalent to the depreciation of physical assets.
With this in mind, there is a paradigm shift today in how companies are thinking about how they treat the collective knowledge, wisdom, experiences, tribal knowledge and intellectual capital that resides within their organization. These are valuable corporate assets and companies can no longer ignore the impact they have both on their day-to-day operations as well as their bottom line.
The smart company of the future will identify and harness its intellectual property while the really successful organizations will be those that deliver and share that tribal knowledge just in time to those that need it, the way they need it, and when they need it, to increase their overall effectiveness and performance.
The cost of employee replacement is a very expensive proposition that takes into account the cost of finding and on-boarding that person. The average ramp up time for a new hire varies depending on the nature of the business and products or services being offered, but I’m sure that if you ask any manager how long it takes for them to get a new hire ramped up, they will tell you that it is too long. Providing those new hires with a way in which they can easily access your corporate Tribal Knowledge and information, will go a long way to shortening that ramp up time. Getting people producing faster simply adds to the bottom line and reduces overhead.