Thursday, October 18, 2001

Page 188 - When I first read the "Intellectual Capital" bit, I got nervous. Flashbacks to a client whose claim to fame was being the Human Capital experts. I was weak-kneed when I first heard the phrase early last year. I said, Hey. Don't be so sensitive. It makes sense. Value your people as highly as your other corporate assets. But then the pessimist reared her ugly head: Human Capital--humans as capital expenditures. No better than the beat-up laser printer on the third floor, a server, a monitor, a keyboard.

But that's not what you were getting at. So I put down the drink and the pills. I'm better now. In fact, I'm inspired by the idea that companies may actually one day value intellect this way. Reward and promote based on intellect, rather than billability. Ideas as currency. Set us loose--go forth and ponder, create, invent.

So I try not to rain on the parade I just joined. I see some of this coming to fruition in my own company. But in this horror of a market, it is always carefully balanced against billability, utilization, and any other ility and ation you can think of. In fact, it's almost a double-edged sword. We are enticed and encouraged to take the company in this direction.... but the unsaid is voiced just as soundly: Do it in your spare time.

For a while, this may have to be so. It just might be that we have to accept that. Yes, they'll let us do it. But no, It's not part of your job, not yet, and for now you won't be directly incented on it. Recognized? Yes. Sure. Great idea!!! Hey, she's a real asset. (For the corporate novice, that means you get even more work to do. But it also means you get to keep your job.) But incented directly to move the organization toward Web connections in ways that don't obviously relate to core services... not quite yet. But then, that's what Gonzo's about, right? Getting them to get religion. Inching toward it.

Right now, I'm okay with doing it split-personality style. Troops, we have to offer it up for the good of the cause. i.e., Sometimes it just bes that way.

more in a few... -j.

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