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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

The company I work with invests in three areas: financial capital (of course), intellectual capital, and managerial capital.

Financial capital is really the grease that gets everything else moving. Without it there’s mostly friction, lots of heat, but little else. Almost everything needs money to get rolling.

Intellectual capital is anything you can own that isn’t stuff. Patents, trademarks, brandnames, recipes, etc. These are cerebral property and provide a competitive edge.

Finally, managerial capital is the know-how, experience, and potential to deliver the end product. The executors.

Of the three, financial and intellectual capital are the most well understood. Finance is highly sophisticated and evolved. Intellectual capital is growing, has lots of attention, and was the promise land when I was sliding out of school several years ago.

But managerial capital lacks the depth that the other two enjoy. For either financial or intellectual capital we have a fairly tight checklist and filter that assures us the needs in these areas are met. For managerial capital, it remains a function of instinct and experience.

Now we’re each hard-wired to assess other people. Within just few seconds we can accurately nail a wide range of characteristics on people we’ve just met. But as Malcolm Gladwell explained in Blink we can also get this stuff wrong.

I might be missing something obvious, but isn’t there a huge opportunity for rigor in the “people” business? Isn’t there a host of assessment tools lying around, unattached, that could be fit together to make a sophisticated checklist in this area?

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