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The Economics of Intangible Value - Trends
Determine their Implications for Your Business

As we move further into the knowledge economy, the value of business will depend more and more on intangible rather than tangible assets. These 38 trends have been identified by an analysis done by Jan Wyllie, Trend Monitor International and commissioned by the Canadian Society of Management Accountants for their issues paper: Collaborative Innovation and the Knowledge Economy. This material will soon be available as a knowledge asset available for purchase. Contact Debra M. Amidon for more details.

What to Do

For each trend, complete the following:

The Implications for your Industry

The Implications for Your Company

The Implications for Your Function/Profession

The Trends

Note: The number of arrows, > to >>>, indicates the strength of the trend.

Established Trends
1. Change >> Transformation
2. Valuing tangibles >>> Valuing intangibles
3. Quantitative values >> Qualitative values e.g. quality
4. Increasing transaction costs >>> Falling transaction costs
5. Arithmetic growth patterns > Geometric growth patterns
6. Trading atoms > Trading bits
7. Optimisation strategies >> Innovation strategies
Emerging Trends
8. Flexibility >> Agility
9. Valuing technologies > Valuing people
10. Focus on medium and delivery technology >> Focus on content and presentation
11. Environmental management >>> Ecological adaptation
12. Science and technology driven change model >>> Culturally and socially driven change model
13. Success through acquisition >> Success through generosity
14. Valuing reproducible money and goods >> Valuing irreproducible time and infinitely reproducible information
15. Knowledge filtered by experts >> Knowledge filtered by interested parties
16. Commoditisation >  
17. Economic theory based on supply and demand >>> Systems theory based on chaos/complexity
18. Separation of voluntary and for profit activities > Reintegration of voluntary and for profit activities
19. Resource restraints >>> Time restraints
20. Diminishing returns >> Increasing returns
21. High entry costs >>> Low entry costs
22. Equilibrium and stability >> Sustainability and adaptation
23. Shoring up the Nation State > Encouraging local economies
24. Large scale economic development strategies > Small scale seeding strategies
25. Private ownership and control >> Shared ownership and co-operation
Over the Horizon
26. Virtual “reality” > Post virtual realities
27. Focus on elements >>> Focus on context
28. Knowledge generation and personal expertise >> Knowledge utilisation and group understanding
29. Focus on text centered literacy >> Focus on multimedia and aural communication
30. Solving problems >> Seeking opportunities
31. European and African lack of innovation > European and African innovation leadership
32. The first slow stage of a doubling game >>> Phase change stage
33. Counting the past >> Counting the future
34. Economies of scale >> Economies of scope
35. Additive measurement > Combinatory measurement
36. Deregulation and freedom >> Re-regulation according to agreed principles
37. Economic planning and forecasting >> Responsiveness to needs and insight
38. International perspective >> Interlocal perspective


How Did You Do?

Just thinking about the implications, especially with your colleagues, can stimulate new thinking about the market and business opportunities. This is one of the aids that we use in ENTOVATION's Knowledge Innovation workshops to envision the future. The above list is just a summary of a comprehensive and detailed analysis. A summary of these trends can be found in Collaborative Innovation and the Knowledge Economy. A more detailed analysis and comprehensive briefing paper that discusses the implications - The Economics of Intangible Value - has now been published.


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Last updated: 27 Jan 2000