Posted in response to October 5, 2009 Business Week Viewpoint: “Problems with Obama’s Innovation Strategy”

Everything you (Jeneanne Rae, the author of the Viewpoint) say is quite true, but in the end you don’t offer any more in the way of details than the administration has. Everyone repeats the mantra of needing clear accountability metrics but no one is focusing on the need for a metric system and reference standards for all of the new forms of intangible capital we’re trying to manage. The collective mind needs a common language of shared terms and objects to innovate effectively. But our measures of innovation, risk, governance, trust, abilities, health, and environmental quality are all expressed in incommensurable, instrument-dependent units. THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE!! Measurement science has 80 years of experience in calibrating and equating tests, surveys, and assessments into measurement systems that retain their metric properties over time, space, respondent samples, different collections of questions asked, etc. If measurement is so important to management, why aren’t more people talking about investing in the infrastructure we need for managing human, social, and natural capital? For more information, see,, or

Rae’s article as at

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LivingCapitalMetrics Blog by William P. Fisher, Jr., Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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