Sunday, February 26, 2006

Intangibles and measurability -- musings

rapid and accelerating change in events and information, ubiquitous networks, a new generation of internet-like information systems, organizational transparency, falling boundaries, interoperability, and more are changing the way business is conducted.

wall street and accounting systems count only that which is convertible to cash. likewise, bankers lend only to those with liquid collateral. liquid means easily convertible to cash or "same as cash." most intangible assets are illiquid. hence, wall street doesn't factor intangibles into quarterly earning reports, accountants value them at zero, and banks refuse to make loans against them.

measuring things was easier in the industrial age. most assets were tangible. you could see them. you could measure what went into a product and how many products were produced; everyone could agree on how to measure productivity.

you can't manage what you can't measure. this is total b.s. do you manage knowledge workers? and how do you measure them?

furthermore, measurement is deceptive if you use a broken measuring stick. ($)

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