About ICBS

 ICBS (Intellectual Capital Benchmarking System) is the output of long term research carried out by Dr. Viedma and his team in the field of intangibles or intellectual capital, that are the main sources of sustainable competitive advantages in the context of the knowledge economy.

 The ICBS is both a new management method and a new strategic management tool that allows companies to benchmark their core innovation and operational capabilities against the world-class competitors in their sector, using benchmarking and competitive intelligence techniques that facilitate the process of learning from the best competitors.

How does ICBS work?

The ICBS methodologies and frameworks can be divided into two partial models   the OICBS (Operations Intellectual Capital Benchmarking System) and the IICBS (Innovation Intellectual Capital Benchmarking System). Theoretically, both ICBS methodologies are based on the identification and evaluation of core competencies of a company compared to those of its best world competitor. Using an extended swot analysis, strategic benchmarking techniques and business intelligence tools, the ICBS makes a competitiveness strategy check_up of our company.

The IICBS (Innovation Intellectual Capital Benchmarking System) is a framework that focuses on the innovation process. Innovation process represents the long wave of value creation, and it is the main powerful driver of future financial results.

An important assumption of this framework is that companies do not compete on new products but on their capacity to develop new products, or their core competencies.

The OICBS (Operations Intellectual Capital Benchmarking System) is a strategic information system that allows companies to benchmark against world-class competitors, in terms not only of core competencies but also of the processes, products and services produced by the operations of the company’s business unit. In addition, it also benchmarks the operations infrastructure.

The OICBS framework aims to discover the core knowledge and core activities that are the prime reason for sustainable competitive advantages.

         The ICBS Family Frameworks

Why choosing ICBS?

In a developed market economy, a key common ingredient in all business success stories has been the presence of a soundly formulated and effectively implemented strategy. ICBS is a methodology and a framework for successful strategy formulation in the knowledge economy. The ICBS allows companies to compare their core competencies or intellectual capital with those of the best world competitors from the same activity segment. An element that differentiates ICBS from other intellectual capital models is the fact that “the best in class” global competitor is also considered, thus allowing benchmarking to be undertaken in a systematic and permanent way

 What kind of questions should we ask before using ICBS?

Competitiveness is the key for surviving and winning in the present economic crisis. For companies the two crucial questions are:

Is our company competitive today?

Will be our company competitive in the future?


ICBS gives the answer to both questions

Using ICBS in an orderly, systematic, and repetitive way our company can:

  1. Identify the specific competitiveness factors and criteria that are relevant in our business activity.
  2. Learn from the company's "betters" to improve our present competitive position.
  3. Identify, audit and benchmark our core competencies or key intellectual capital that are the main sources of sustainable competitive advantages.
  4. Select, in a systematic and organised way, the necessary information for evaluating relevant factors, core competencies or key intellectual capital.
  5. Facilitate the work of the benchmarking and competitive intelligence teams.
  6. Facilitating the work of the knowledge and intellectual capital managers.
  7. Give the managers and investors of small and medium enterprises access to core competencies and intellectual capital in a systematic and organised way.

Making good decisions depend on strategies well formulated, anchored in good business formulas. The ICBS is a valuable management information tool that helps organization to achieve this purpose.

ICBS is a competitiveness strategy check-up for organizations in the knowledge economy.


To better understand the benefits of ICBS we rely on Peter Drucker:

 The important decision [or those] decisions that really matter, are strategic. They involve either finding out what the situation is, or changing it, either finding out what the resources are or what they should be…Anyone who is a manager has to make such strategic decisions, and the higher his level in the management hierarchy, the more of them he must make.

 Among these are all decisions on business objectives and on the means to achieve them…The important and difficult job is never to find the right answer, it is to find the right question.

Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things. Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.

( Peter Drucker)

 Consequently, effectiveness is more important and relevant than efficiency. The process of strategy formulation is mainly on choosing the right things to do or in other words deals mainly on effectiveness.

ICBS because of its focus on intellectual capital (intangibles) and strategy formulation is fundamentally concerned on effectiveness. This makes ICBS more relevant than any other equivalent model or methodology.