The value contract

Still more ideas from the SCIP annual conference in Chicago…

When I work with internal corporate practitioners of intelligence or research, one of my first recommendations is to run their operation as if it were a stand-alone business.  That is, with clients (managerial decision-makers), suppliers (databases, contractors, etc.), and possibly even rivals of their own-both internal and external.  This helps them determine where the value for their clients is, and how to maximize that value.

Few of the internal practitioners I’ve met charge back for their services—so they are essentially “free” to their users on a transactional basis.  In those rare cases where there is a charge-back system, there is a market value assigned to the function.  People either pay for the service at the quoted price, or they do not.  The user is the judge of what value is received, and whether it was “worth it”.

However, absent this market mechanism—which has its own drawbacks—there is no direct measure of value for intelligence.  There must be some proxy for it—typically informal conversations or a survey at budget time to the effect—Is this function worth its salt, or not?

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Latest Posts

  • Topics

  • Archives

  • About this site

    COMPETING IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY is written by Timothy Powell, an independent researcher and consultant in knowledge strategy. Tim is president of The Knowledge Agency® (TKA) and serves on the faculty of Columbia University's Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) graduate program.


    "During my more than three decades in business, I have served more than 100 organizations, ranging from Fortune 500s to government agencies to start-ups. I document my observations here with the intention that they may help you achieve your goals, both professional and personal.

    "These are my opinions, offered for your information only. They are not intended to substitute for professional advice."


    We typically publish monthly on or about the 15th of each month, subject to our client workload. Use the RSS feed links below to subscribe to posts and/or comments. Better yet, follow us on Twitter @twpowell to be notified of new posts and related developments.

    Thanks for reading! Please mention us to others and add your non-spam comments and suggestions -- we value your input.


    COMPETING IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY is sponsored by the Knowledge Value Chain® (KVC), a methodology that increases the value and ROI of Data, Information, Knowledge, and Intelligence.

    The contents herein are original, except where otherwise noted. All original contents are Copyright © TW Powell Co. All rights reserved.

    All KVC trademarks, trade names, designs, processes, manuals, and related materials are owned and deployed worldwide exclusively by The Knowledge Agency®. Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.


    E SCIENTIA COPIA. Knowledge is the Engine of Value.