What are we balancing?

31 Jul 2015 6:38 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

When coming up with the Balanced Scorecard concept, Kaplan & Norton reminded us of the need for balanced measurement - focusing on a number of important factors.


Yet when we measure and discuss national productivity, it is almost always in the context of a single measure - GDP per employee or employee-hour.


There is a growing view that this measure is not just 'unbalanced' but out-of-date.  It is a measure very suitable for older, manufacturing-based economies but fails to recognise the nuances of knowledge-based economies.


It 'counts' tangible assets within GDP (cars, widgets, fridges, etc) but does not gather data on intangible assets like patent portfolios, bright young people and so on.


Financiers and investors have moved on.  When they value a start-up, they do not value the physical assets -  but the intangible, intellectual assets and intellectual property - the ideas.


So, perhaps we need to catch up - and establish measures of national productivity that are suitable for this - and future - centuries.


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