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21st century challenges: Knowledge capital accounts

brocade-sonobe-level-2-menger-sponge-front-1 by Ardonik via FlickrKnowledge capital accounts

In a capital account, we know the money we spent on an item and we know how long ago we spent it.

For the nation’s knowledge, we need need to be able to map its contours in some way.

Knowledge capital <> literacy

Most of the time, we are fussing about literacy levels. Literacy levels are important

  • Individuals need to be able to read and write
  • And collectively, we need a bedrock of knowledge to build a pyramid of knowledge in the community

But our competitiveness depends on our collective performance at the top level. Are we abreast of new ideas?  Are we keeping up?

Learning from firm-level HRD policy

It’s a simple truism in HRD policy, even in the lowly firm, that we have to think ahead to the changes in knowledge that loom on the horizon. We may not know exactly what changes will bring but we can usually anticipate their form.  Will they be little incremental changes that we can absorb easily, or, will they be discontinuous changes that require major investments in thousands of people so that we have the shared knowledge to create the new frontier?

How are we doing in your field?

I know that in my field that we aren’t doing very well.  Not only has the average person in my field not heard of ideas that were common place 20 years ago in other parts of the world, not too many of the leaders have either.

What is even more worrying is the shallowness of many debates in institutions like BBC Radio 4 which is charged with keeping us abreast of new ideas.  They can’t know everything, of course.  But they don’t really seem to know the right people to find out.

Knowledge capital accounts

The happiness index might promote debate about happiness at least.  Maybe someone can devise some knowledge capital accounts to measure he quality of the chattering sector?

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