Goodwill of Org.. or Society? LO17447

Scott Simmerman (
Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:30:33 -0500

Replying to LO17413 --

Jeff Blumberg concluded, in Goodwill of Org.. or Society? LO17413,

>On the behavioural side, for those companies in SA that would measure
>intellectual IQ, they would be reminded of the ongoing exportation of
>intellectual capital out of South Africa. CEOs in SA don't need to be
>reminded of this, they know it too well! Which is why I find the whole
>notion of intellectual capital measurement a lot of nonsense. Good CEOs
>worth their salt, know very well the importance of knowledge and
>intellect, he/she shouldn't need it included in the Balance Sheet.

Boy, I would like to believe that to be true. But I see too much evidence
of it not being true when one looks at a variety of statistics on issues
of downsizing and ROI, managers misperceptions of worker motivations, and
all sorts of other information.

Top management seems most isolated and unaccountable in many situations.
IMMEDIATE short-term results are what are judged to be important and not
the long-term prosperity of the organization in so many instances.

Jeff's comment about "Good CEOs... know very well..." can also be reframed
as "Most CEOs don't have a clue..."

I'm reminded that 50% of all CEOs are at or below average. Many control
huge amounts of capital and can TALK about the value of human capital and
intellectual capability. But when push comes to shove, when caught
between a rock and a hard place, they do NOT seem to make good decisions
about people in many instances.

My first consulting boss, ED, as I mentioned before, put about 30 of us in
direct competition with him. One employee BROUGHT him a Big Contract but
Ed didn't want to give a commission, so the employee left WITH the

If Human Capital WERE in the balance sheet, rest assurred that these CEOs
would all value it more appropriately, do routine maintenance to keep it
operating at a high level, and minimize the waste. Until then, if nothing
changes, nothing changes.


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