If you have any experience with investing, you know about rebalancing your portfolio. Every so often—at the end of every year, say—you need to reassess your investments. Some may have grown, such that you’re too heavily invested in a particular stock or sector in the economy. In other areas, you may find that you have less invested than you would like, given the prospects for another higher-potential sector.
Why do we need to do this? Because the world changes, and the asset mix may no longer meet our needs. I may feel that the economy is risky, and I’d rather be more invested in safer things like bonds than stocks.
In addition to the ebb and flow of securities prices, my needs may also change. I may need to take out money for my child’s education, or for other unexpected expenses. I may feel that I’d rather have more insurance.
The knowledge portfolio
It’s much the same way for organizational information and research assets. They are financial investments—not costs—and each one brings to the organization a return in the form of optimized decisions and business results. I find it helpful to think of all the research, information, and intelligence in an organization as its ‘knowledge portfolio’, with each research initiative, report, and staff position representing a specific asset in that portfolio.