Prosperity and the Value of Intellectual Capital
Prosperity is dependent on economic, cultural and institutional factors. The economic factors include entrepreneurship; the division of labour, specialization and co-operation; competitive markets, a willingness to trade; the accumulation of capital and improving its productivity through technology; and investments in knowledge. The cultural factors include our attitudes to the dignity of work; our willingness to use the talents of all our citizens; the importance of reputation and trust; and the acceptance of urbanization. The institutional factors include property rights; the rule of law; the separation of powers; commercial contracts and a judicial system to enforce them; banking and communication systems etc. Over the past two hundred years, where these factors have been encouraged mankind has experienced exponential improvements in well-being, and a concomitant flourishing of the arts and human sensibilities.
Fenwick Software has been able to apply a number of these factors to create its own prosperity and that of its clients.
In 2012, when the new website, www.fenwicksoftware.com.au went live, it was evident how much capital Fenwick Software had - not capital in the financial sense, but more in the intellectual property sense. These are the things that Fenwick Software has created over the years. They are assets that a start-up company would not have. The website represents the culmination of what it has achieved in over 35 years of being in business, and what it stands for. It is an invitation to prospective clients to come and do business with it.
The culture the firm has developed gives individuals the liberty to thrive – autonomy, creativity, responsibility and growth; the freedom to experiment with new ideas and new ways of doing things; the lack of carping criticism if something does not work out as intended; the willingness to help each other when someone is struggling; a constant striving to do everything better. All this means individuals are more productive here than they would have been elsewhere. Such an environment has cumulative effects. Perhaps it increases the intelligence of the consultants and the group as a whole.
Most of Fenwick’s staff grew up in Melbourne and have had the benefit of a good education system culminating in degrees in IT and business, many from the excellent Bachelor of Information Technology program at Swinburne University. The firm is the beneficiary of all our society has provided in this regard. It has also benefitted from immigration, recruiting some excellent staff from overseas.