Intellectual Capital

What Are the Main Takeaways From the Intellectual Capital Blog Series?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Throughout this seven-part blog series on intellectual capital, I raised a number of issues senior talent leaders need to address when creating, managing, and delivering learning programs. Foremost among these challenges are the potential legal liabilities they may face if they fail to conduct due diligence—not to mention the prevailing issue of long-term ROI. (See Post #7.) Here’s a summary of the other major points made in this series. 

  1. There have been relatively few changes, including content, in the talent development business over the last 50 years, other than the advent of technology-enabled learning systems. What’s more, the underlying foundation of the talent development industry focuses largely on knowledge acquisition, skill development, and attitude adjustment. Consequently, talent development is just as susceptible to intellectual property infringement as other industries. (See Post #1.)
  2. Intellectual capital is divided into five overall types, only one of which is intellectual property. All types can be leveraged to a strong competitive advantage. (See Post #2.)
  3. Content, per se, may have been dethroned over the last several years as “King” given the ready access to all types of information and the accompanying focus on delivering an extraordinary customer (i.e. participant) experience. Take steps to focus on internal processes delivering a business model that generates results for your organization. (See Post #3.)
  4. Creating intellectual capital involves a relatively simple and direct set of actions, but which must be ultimately aligned with the strategic imperatives of your organization and its accompanying expected business outcomes. (See Post #4.)
  5. Evaluating the efficacy of intellectual property in the talent development industry is not that easy, particularly when it comes to assessing the content of external suppliers. However, significant due diligence is strongly recommended before your organization puts in place a contractual engagement. (See Post #5.)
  6. There are methods and approaches to evaluate the short- and long-term impact intellectual capital has on learning systems, but sometimes they are difficult to implement given the ever-changing business environment. This makes it unusually hard to establish long-lasting meaningful criteria and metrics against which your organization can measure success. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least TRY to collect the necessary data to conduct analyses. (See Post #5.

What’s the bottom line? In the talent development industry, the ultimate differentiated VALUE is largely created by processes that provide an unmatched customer and end-user experience. In other words, they do what they say they will do AND they achieve promised business results.

About the Author
Dr. Stephen L. Cohen is a 40+ year veteran of the talent management industry, having founded and/or led eight different business entities in the field. He also has served on 19 different advisory boards for firms in the training and education sector, helping them effectively navigate their growth strategies.

He currently is in private practice, focused on strategic and business planning and senior leadership development. His latest book is The Complete Guide to Building and Growing a Talent Development Firm. Contact him at 952.942.7291, steve@strategicleadershipcollaborative, or
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