When I developed my forecasting model in the early 1980s, I could see that a digital revolution would unfold, and as it did, an advanced form of capitalism would emerge, one where ideas and knowledge stimulated economic growth even more so than labor, land, money or other tangibles. It later became known as the Knowledge Era – or the Knowledge Age – in contrast to the Industrial Age.
There is a big difference between data, information, knowledge and wisdom. Today we are all focused on big data, and we should be because it provides the foundation for the three higher levels. We all have a database, and as we all know, there is no shortage of information, but do you have a knowledgebase? Is your organization creating new revenue streams by converting information into actionable knowledge, sharing that knowledge internally to increase its value, and then selling it in non-competing industries? I helped a large global organization do this several years ago and they generated over $100 million in the first year. All too often we fail to see the hidden value of the people part of the business. Are you actively using web-based technology to leverage the talents, knowledge and wisdom of employees to create new high-margin products, as well as solve problems faster?
All too often, as we grow larger and move faster, we can easily lose track of the wide variety of intellectual property (IP) we have created. Are you actively formalizing, capturing and leveraging your intellectual property(IP) to create higher value assets? Using today’s digital tools, it has never been easier for any organization, regardless of size, to create new revenue streams by leveraging their enhanced IP.
Keep in mind that you get the behaviors you reward; therefore, there must be a rewards system for sharing knowledge. Remember, there are many ways to reward people and not all have to involve money.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.