If you're in "industry" your Capital will mostly be solidly bolted down as assembly lines, production facilities, distribution channels and your "Brand". Altogether making the basis for the entirety of your value and wealth creation.
If you're in "services" the same basis for your value and wealth creation will be solidly lodged in the brains of your employees, who, by the way, could leave by lunch tomorrow. Bye, bye Capital.
Industrial Capital can be used to it's full extent and almost instantly by the newly hired.
Intellectual Capital on the other hands, requires years of training, workshops and mentoring before the newly hired can use it fully to create value and wealth.
In other words, we have a two-lane economy.
One fast lane, one extremely slow lane.
The crazy thing is that the wealth and value created in the slow lane (as expressed in world wide GDP) is twice the amount that is created in the fast lane.
Imagine what would happen if the slow lane became a fast lane!
Thus time to challenge the assumption that the two types of Capital has to be treated differently and try a new set of "ground rules":
1. "How you do things" is the core - call it what you will, "Industrial" or "Intellectual", it's all Capital.
2. Ownership and retainability must be the same for both types of Capital.
3. Time-to-full-productivity and speed of growth of both types of Capital should be the same.
To ensure better use of Intellectual Capital all knowledge work and practices must be sufficiently, albeit not suffocatingly, structured so the paths and choices - "how you do things" - becomes tangible:
1. The Intellectual Capital must be embedded in every task as it's delivered with all pertinent information and the required tools allowing the Capital to be instantly used to full effect with little or no training.
2. The process must have real time visibility and real choices, again reflecting the Intellectual Capital, in order to amplify the value of the human creativity and it's use of the Capital.
3. Every step, every word, every choice must be captured real time (and historically) thus building the Intellectual Capital continuously and keeping it for the future.
Some "systems" do actually try to deliver these kind of effects - BPM comes to mind, CRM, KM systems and Enterprise 2.0 tries it's best as well. Common though is that these are restricted to certain limited practices / processes, and whatever the sales pitch says, precious little holistic process structure is offered. While "Capital" is all-encompassing and can only be fully utilised by holistic solutions.
[Disclosure: This issue is one of many that we (try to) address with Thingamy.]