As an extreme example, entertainer David Bowie floated a personal bond issue recently. He offered investors a portion of his future royalties from previously recorded material and receipts from future concerts. The “Bowie Bonds” were gone within an hour of the offer, for more than $50-million.

In an even more striking case, when Dreamworks SKG went public, investors immediately drove the value of it’s bonds to $2-billion. Dreamworks was a film studio without a studio, a film or even a star. All it had was the intangible value of its founders: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Getten.

The intangible value of being — that’s what the new knowledge economy is all about. Veteran information age guru Stan Davis confirms some insights into the increasing value of people in today’s economy.

A person’s “value” is just a measure of how much someone is willing to pay to obtain something from them.

In Blur, Davis and Meyer make the point that the boundaries between your work life and your home life are disappearing. In fact, today the rate of change and the depth of connectivity is so fast that every person, product, service and company are blurring together.

Computerization and communications have made us all a linked community. There are, for example, nine times more computer processors in our products than in our computers — nine billion CPUs in item like phones, hotel keys, consumer electronics, day planners and cars.

As products are more driven by software, they become easier to link together. Intelligence and information become the key value being offered in a consumable (some 90 percent of the value of a new car is estimated to be in the computers and software it uses). And you are the value-adder.

Instead of resources or land, “capital” today means human capital. It doesn’t take a shoe factory to go into the show business these days. Nor do you need raw materials or fleets of trucks. Nike became a shoe industry leader by concentrating on the value-producing capacity of it’s employees, for design, marketing and distribution know-how.

The real capital is intangible: the person’s knowledge level, combined with an aptitude for application.

Today, employees in the high-technology world especially, tend to think of themselves as a free agent — like a professional athlete who is always in training. Knowledge workers are continuously investing in the next set of skills and training, driving up their personal “stock price”. This puts knowledge value in the driver’s seat. Employers like yourself will try ever harder to retain smart, boldly entrepreneurial overachievers. Microsoft used stock options to attract exactly this kind of person, and has created more than 21,000 employee millionaires.

In this world, value is NOT salary — not for the employer, not for the employee. Your search for a candidate job should be value-focused, not salary-driven.

At Perry-Martel International, we know how to look for knowledge value. And just as you’d expect from the complexity of the human factors involved, it is an intensive process.

What we bring to the table is a set of guidelines developed from years of experience in locating just such values, and the experience that lets us apply these guidelines quickly, on your behalf.

We know what’s important in today’s knowledge worker, and in your company, and we can bring these elements together.

David Perry
Perry-Martel International Inc.