Knowledge and technology are key to value creation

Steve Vamos's picture

SYDNEY - Just as the agrarian society gave way to the industrial revolution, the industrial society is giving way to one where knowledge and innovation are the key drivers of economic value and wealth creation.

As organisations from all sectors come to rely more on knowledge-intensive resources and technology for value creation, it is clear that an organisation's ability to foster, manage and profit from the knowledge of its people and their capacity to innovate will be the key to its future success. However, as an economy and a nation we are challenged to find meaningful, consistent and reliable ways to successfully deal with these things often called "intangibles".

As managers, leaders and citizens, we must explore and address the challenge of understanding value in this new knowledge-based era. Managing a business, government agency or an economy in this time requires new understanding and skills if we are to continue to prosper.

Our vision is to create an Australia that is the most advanced Knowledge Economy in the world.We believe the answers lie in the collaborative, ‘joined up' thinking of committed individuals and organisations.

The heart of our work is facilitating collaborative investigations, insights and the creation of ‘best' practices and policy recommendations by bringing together thought leaders, experts and innovators from business, government, academia and the third sector.Working in partnership with academics, corporations such as Westpac and Microsoft, associations like the CPA, and participants from State and Federal government, the SKE has set out to create the frameworks, forums and contexts for those dialogues, inquiries, discoveries and ‘best' practices to emerge to benefit Australia as a whole.

Whilst my current ‘day job' has expanded to a global role, I am delighted to continue to serve the SKE as President for this most vital Australian initiative and believe the SKE will serve as a role model for the development of other such organisations globally.

Steve Vamos,

Vice President, Online Services Group, Microsoft Corp

President, Society for Knowledge Economics

For more information on the Society for Knowledge Economics please visit www.ske.org.au.


intangibles only matter when they produce tangib.e results

Intangibles only matter when they produce tangible results and such results are easy to measure. How good is a comedy? Well, the only measure which counts is the number of laughing people in the cinema. A scientist is as good as the discoveries he makes, a programmer as good as the code he delivers.

To take a sporting allusion, one could argue till the cows come home about the different abilities of different players but all that matters is the score on the board in the end. A knowledge based firm is as profitable, or not, as it ever was. It doesn't matter that it's producing computer code rather than nuts and bolts or cabbages and turnips. A business values intangibles all the time - it values a worker by the amount it pays him, and if another firm values that worker more it'll offer him more money and the worker will move. The free market is the only judge of intangibles which matters.

There's no need to endlessly talk about 'value creation' - the question is are you making a profit or not? Could it be that middle managers, who don't actually produce anything and are increasingly redundant in 'flat' management structures simply want to invent a new concept to make themselves seem valuable when, in reality, they produce nothing of value at all?