Companies often fail to notice that their asset base has or is shifting from traditional tangible assets to an intangible asset base, and that concurrently, their approach to strategy and management must also change to effectively deploy and leverage the shifting asset mix.
Archives for September 2011
In a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal one commentator on the world of business puzzled that Google would so violate the patent rights of their competitors with their Android mobile operating system. He mused incredulously, that Google seems to assume that their competitors in the smartphone market don’t have a right to exclude them from using their intellectual property.
Many of our largest companies are often reported as “having more cash than the U.S. Treasury.” These words are spoken in a marveling and laudable voice, and most readers stand in awe that businesses could accumulate so very much cash. As of July 13, 2011, 29 companies had more cash than the U.S. Treasury.
Many manufacturing companies overlook the opportunity to patent aspects of their products or specialized manufacturing processes. This is especially true in the natural products industries, where unusual ingredients are often mixed together and specialized production processes are increasingly required to make food products and dietary supplement products that are acceptable to consumers. In most natural product categories, it takes substantial innovation for manufacturers to be able to produce successful functional and natural food or supplement products.
Recent ethical, regulatory, and legal responses to enterprise wrong-doing is driving a sea change throughout organizations in the United States. There are many new regulatory guidelines in place, evidencing the imperative to drive ethical behavior and establish integrity across both public and private organizations.
I used to work at a dietary-supplements company. We read the authoritative herbals and identified herbs that the traditional knowledge of herbal folklore believed were efficacious in treating health conditions that were commonly served by modern over-the-counter (OTC) products. We reasoned that natural herbal solutions to widespread conditions such as the common cold, sleeplessness and lack of vitality could provide millions of consumers with a more natural lifestyle.
The rise of our entrepreneurial society, the information economy, global capitalism, and modern prosperity are all inextricably linked together with the cultivation, dissemination, and management of knowledge. Increasingly, knowledge itself and the transfer of knowledge, are widely recognized as the key factors in long-term economic growth.
Peter Drucker, the great patriarch and founder of management as a discipline, famously coined the term “knowledge workers” during the mid-twentieth century. “Knowledge workers” were the people who were being paid to think, to work with their brains instead of their hands. Fifty years later, such “knowledge workers” have become the lifeblood of our economy, and are approaching 60% of all workers in the United States.
As Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and indigenous substances increasingly influence the creation of new foods and dietary-supplements products, it becomes important to understand how the traditional knowledge movement is shaping the structure of new products, and limiting the opportunity to capitalize upon the cultural knowledge of other cultures. What is this trend and what does it suggest for business strategy?