Intellect is knowing or understanding: the capacity to create knowledge, the capacity for rational or highly developed use of intelligence. The knowledge of an organization or enterprise - in order of increasing importance - encompasses (1.) cognitive knowledge (or know what), the rules and facts of a discipline; (2.) advanced skills (know how), the capacity to perform a task sufficiently well to compete effectively; (3.) system understanding (know why), understanding the interrelationships and pacing rates of influence among key variables; (4.) motivated creativity, discovery, or invention (care why), the capacity to interrelate two or more disciplines to create totally new effects; (5.) intuition and synthesis (perceive how and why), the capacity to understand or predict relationships that are not directly measurable. A primary locus of such knowledge is clearly inside the organization's human brains. But the first three levels can also exist in the company's software, systems, databases, shares experiences, or operating technologies. If properly nurtured, intellect in each form is both highly leverageable and protectable. Cognitive knowledge is essential, but usually far from sufficient for economic success. Many may know the rules for performance - on a football field, piano, laboratory bench, or accounting ledger - but lack the higher skills necessary to make money at it in competition.
Some people may possess advanced skills but lack system understanding. They can perform selected tasks well but do not fully understand how their actions affect other elements of the organization or how to improve the total entity's effectiveness. Similarly, some people many possess both the knowledge to perform a task and the advanced skills to complete, but lack the will, motivation, or adaptability for success. Highly motivated and creative groups often outperform others with greater physical or fiscal endowments, as do those with finely honed intuitions, especially in the arts. Intuition many be the highest form of trained intellect: the capacity to integrate uncodifiable knowledge about many subtle and complex interactions one never encountered in the same way before.