Last evening at Network Appliances in Sunnyvale, I attended a meeting of the Former Deming Group (reunion of sorts), where Verna Allee, Principal at Value Networks, LLC presented the latest in trends in value network analysis. She noted that while 80 % of corporate assets are now intangible, the reporting systems, financials and annual reports to shareholders present mostly information about tangible assets. In my experience these reports are primarily rear-view mirror oriented and do not tell the investor or management about where the business is heading. Allee described a new $50M initiative by the SEC (good to see the Securities Exchange Commssion taking a lead here) on a way to describe both tangible and intangible assets of a corporation via a new information language called the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).
The creation of XBRL, value network analysis, ethnographic study (day in the life of), user councils, and Web 2.0 social media offer the innovation applications team a host of tools and services to make an impact on the value creation processes of the company. We need more of these types of tools, let me know ones you like and I’ll highlight them here.