Working with executives at the Mayo Clinic in the early ’90s, I asked them to do what I ask many of my clients to do today – and that is to look at what I call the Visible Future®. At that time, this was not something they wanted to do. Why? Because to them it was depressing. Indeed, their visible future included decreasing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and increasing losses in their emergency rooms. So my suggestion to them was this: “Why don’t you sell your knowledge?”

The result was a CD which could be used by people any time, day or night, to determine, for example, whether their child’s rash and fever required a trip to the emergency room or could be treated with aspirin. The Mayo Clinic put a $100 price tag on the product, and in the first year it sold 670,000 copies.

A side benefit was that, by expanding their services to offer a knowledge-based product, they began to develop a new and powerful 21st century brand in the marketplace. They not only created new value and new revenue, but with the subsequent advent of the Internet, their name recognition became international.

Are you leveraging the intellectual capital in your organization?