The EU has a strategic goal for the 21.century: “To become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world.”Powerful words for those who understand what it is all about. Meaningless for a majority of the EU working population, which ought to make it happen. Many are not even familiar with the term knowledge economy, not to speak about its implications. Others think it has to do with educational and school issues, nothing to be concerned with in business. Too few have realized that we are living and working in a transitional period, with industrial economy giving way to knowledge economy and that the change of paradigm, which is happening right now, is inevitable going to effect business in yet unknown ways. Because of that, I think it should become an imperative at national, regional and corporate level to inform and educate as many managers as possible on this matter (political management, which is responsible of shaping the business environment as well) Only if we learn about the features of knowledge based economy and understand in which way this global economic phenomenon affects our local business, we can prepare for the challenges of 21st century economy.
Governments and leading institutions should be among the first ones to receive such education in order to be able to guide other economic players. Only a critical mass of people, who understand the new economic conditions and know what to do in order to create value for themselves, their company and their country under such circumstances, can ensure the transition into knowledge based economy.
Year long fall of productivity worldwide and severe financial crisis indicate that the old way of reasoning and doing business is not serving us well in new economy. Dr. Ante Pulic, an authority in IC measurement, says it is because businessmen and analysts have been ignoring too long the key value creation factor of knowledge economy, intellectual capital (IC). Having refined the skill of managing tangible assets throughout their career, many managers feel more comfortable in continuing to focus on money and physical assets, even though they sense the need for change of focus to intangibles. A perfect way to waist much of the intellectual capital that exists in companies and could ensure the wished for goals: competitive advantage, increase of value creation capability and secure working places.
Worldwide, many respected experts on managing and measuring IC are actively contributing to a better understanding of and development in this field. However, others still ignore the existence and impact of a new economic reality and provide outdated solutions for new problems .There are too many political leaders, who make deceisions regarding economic development of their countries, without consideration of new age needs. And there are too many managers, who manage resources and measure business performance in the traditional way, unaware of the fact, that this might be endangering the existence of their companies.
I am sure that they are giving their best. But the best of the past is not good enough for the future. A wise man once said: “Our development is not endangered by that, what we do not know, but by that, what we think we know.”