Entovation International
GIVING WORDS TO INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL (IC)
by Debra M Amidon

What is in a word?

Shortly after Leif Edvinsson became the first chief knowledge officer in the world, he was publishing a glossary of terms. The IC language was, indeed, being invented real-time. The early Skandia supplements to the annual report included words such as 'competence development expense,' 'empowerment index,' 'innovation capital' and more. As the concepts have evolved, so has the language. Most recently, Leif - together with Arne Richtner of Ericsson Business Consulting - have produced the most extensive lexicon to-date in the knowledge field. This handy brochure entitled "Words of Value" includes almost 200 definitions of terms that only a few years ago would have been considered a foreign language. It refers to the Italian economist Ferdinand Galini who came up with the definition of value in 1750: "value is a relation between persons."

What follows is a teaser - examples from letters of the alphabet:

  • Asynchronous innovation work
  • Benchlearning
  • Human Capital Index
  • IC agility
  • Intellectual ability
  • Multiplicative effect
  • Navigation intelligence
  • Organizational capital
  • Relationship value
  • Tacit Knowledge
  • Value constellation

As you can see, some of these terms have become common knowledge; others are works in progress. In response to the question why Ericsson joined Skandia in this joint project, Arne says: "We must also create networks of scope, exploiting new opportunities through fusion of skills. Without that platform, our dialogues might turn into a mess of monologues. Hence the needs of Ericsson and Skandia converge."

As to where this project might evolve, Leif says: "Evolution and innovation are by definition unpredictable processes. But of course, I can give a rough idea of some directions." 

Visit the website http://www.ericsson.se/intellectualcapital where everyone is welcome to participate in the evolution and refinement of the emerging language of IC and value creation.

back

1996-2001 ENTOVATION International. All rights reserved.
Reprinted from I3 Update - 32.