Most people don't watch porn, they use it. It's a subtle but powerful distinction. Because it's not like people plop down in front of their screens with some popcorn and a soda, kick back after a long day at work, and relish in pornography's high production value. People aren't queuing up sex videos in for the whip smart dialogue between the pizza delivery guy and the college coeds having a sleepover. That's watching porn. Nobody does that. Pornography is a utility. It's a tool people use to accomplish a goal, namely, stimulating sexual arousal. That's the economic value of the product. Pardon the pun here, but people don't buy drills, they buy holes. But all rim shots aside, here's the lesson. Language is the material of intent. The words that we choose to use change how we think about things, and what we ultimately do with them.
KNOWLEDGE LEVER -- Embracing and exploiting the economic potential of your team's intellectual capital
Gartner's insightful book on infonomics discusses monetizing, managing and measuring information as an asset for your competitive advantage. Their research revealed how information is not recognizable as a balance sheet asset, and therefore, never managed like one. But the cool thing about information is, when it's consumed, it doesn’t disappear. It remains unaltered. It is non depletable. And so, every business is, can and should be an information business, monetizing information in a spectrum of ways, embracing it as an economic asset of benefit to the entire enterprise. How does your company stack up? Are your teams good at using information, or just creating it?
I was on a job interview at a tech startup. The founder of the company asked me for the number one characteristic that made an effective writer. My response was, someone who's not only great at creating content, but great at using it. He nodded in agreement, but asked for more clarification. Well, I said, we live in the information age. Knowledge is worth big money. If organizations don't exploit its value beyond what's written on the page, they're leaving precious resources on the table. Writing is merely the price of admission. If an employee wants to add disproportionate value to the company, then the things they write should create leverage across the entire team. There should be multiple economic possibilities for everything they produce. The founder of the startup stood up in his chair, spit in my face and asked me to leave the office immediately and never come back. Just kidding, they hired me later that afternoon.
Pulling this lever is a game changer for knowledge workers. The fact that ideas should possess real utility, not merely be interesting or cool, changes the way those ideas are created. It trains the creative right brain to solve problems with a bit more input from the logical left. Treating information with a filter of economic usefulness, it's a powerful filter. How might your language be limiting the economic potential of your ideas?
Build knowledge that is helpful across your entire team
Create a competitive advantage through your information
Keep idealistic, artistic spirit accountable to your team
Increase your value as an essential member of the organization