Human capital and intellectual property are the attributes that provide competitive differentiation for companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, IBM, Apple and Microsoft. Knowledge-based companies are worth more than the cumulative total of their tangible assets because of the significant value of their high-performing workforce who improve business practices, processes and other intangible assets.
Employees contribute to corporate value in another way: intellectual property. Intellectual property includes discoveries, formulas, inventions, knowledge and software created by individuals and used for profit.
“Eight out of 10 business leaders believe their future commercial success will be dictated by how they best harness their knowledge—the way they share and apply the insights contained in their people, best practices and operating environment,” according to The Knowledge Advantage, a 2014 report from Ernst & Young, which included a survey of 300 business leaders across China, Germany, India, U.K. and U.S.
Eighty-one percent of respondents named knowledge as a key to their success, rating it higher than the more traditional capabilities of product management and financially driven targets. Businesses, associations and agencies are becoming more proactive in the effort to improve staff performance.