Invisible Advantage: How Intangibles Are Driving Business Performance

Invisible Advantage: How Intangibles Are Driving Business Performance

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The Enron debacle, the implosion, and a record-breaking deal for a popular morning news anchor are only a few of the most dramatic examples of a new economic paradigm that is rewriting the rules of business.

Consider the following: IBM spendsthree and a half billion dollars to acquire Lotus Development Corporation, but more importantly, its chief programmer. French corporation LVMH creates the first luxury brands conglomerate, recognizing the potential operational and marketing benefits fromcombining opulent brands like Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennessey, TAG Heuer and Givenchy under one managerial umbrella. Meanwhile, Monsanto's stock price plummets, losing 35 % of its value in a year, when the company's carefully considered strategy to enhancegrowth, diversification and public acclaim through leadership in genetically modified crops, is met instead with public revulsion for "Frankenfoods." The common theme among these, and dozens of other examples analyzed in Invisible Advantage , is the profound degree to which "intangible assets" are defining corporate value and revolutionizing the ways in which business is conducted.

Drawing from their extensive research in corporate valuation, strategy, and consumer behavior, Jonathan Low and Pam Cohen Kalafut estimate that fully one-third of an organization's value is derived from elements that can't be seen, such as brand equity, strategy execution, reputation, and innovative culture. Ideas and relationships: these are the new currency of theeconomy-and their influence on decision-making can now be quantified.

From leadership to communication, technology to human resources, the authors identify twelve "measures that matter" and convincingly demonstrate the bottom-line implications of investing in (or ignoring) each of them. Achieving, and then sustaining, a competitive edge will depend on how well you and your company balance all twelve factors. Highlighting the most innovative strategies of organizations around the world, the authors present strategies for succeeding in the age of intangibles, and propose an ambitious agenda for reforming the ways in which corporate performance is recorded and evaluated.

Challenging and provocative, Invisible Advantage is a decoder ring to the intangibles economy-a new playbook by which managers can learn to attract the most talented employees, profitable customers, collaborative partners, and aggressive investors.