Corporate Security Organizing Principle’s, It’s All About Intangibles!

May 23rd, 2017. Published under 'Safeguarding Intangible Assets', Communicating Risk, Design thinking.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly May 23, 2017 A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters!

Organizing principles, objectively grounded in fact, not aside anecdotes, give legitimacy to how particularly complicated and multi-faceted phenomena are articulated and effectively addressed. Organizing principles are extensions of (symbolize) the way we, as individuals or companies, conceptualize and/or have come to hold specific assumptions (correctly, incorrectly) about a particular phenomenon, event, circumstance, or human activity.

More specifically, how corporate security directors interpret – assess their role and contributory value to preventing-mitigating risk, i.e., adverse phenomena, may incorporate anecdotal bias and therefore be, at least in part, flawed insofar as being an effective security – asset safeguard – risk mitigation practice.

For many corporate directors of security, the act-process of conceptualization encompasses…
• who, what, when, where, why, how, and presence – absence of risk
specific circumstances.
• distinguishing the dynamics of a transaction, new initiative, R&D,
etc., insofar as intangible assets in play.
• probability of, vulnerability to, and criticality produced by certain
risks, when-if (should) they materialize.

Frequently too, corporate security organizing principles…
• represent (convey – symbolize) the strength and relevancy that
security attaches to those dynamics.
• frame-comprise security’s assumptions and ultimately influence how
security directors conceptualize a companies’ – businesses’
transactions, initiatives, and processes in terms of risk
materialization, commencement, and (adverse) effect on the intangible

Ad-hoc practices, on the other hand, are opposite to the concept of ‘operating principles’. That is, ad hoc, through my lens, is aligned – associated with the time-honored practice of ‘muddling through’ which experienced practitioners recognize may occasionally work.

If – when a business leader claims ad hoc practices function satisfactorily in terms of consistently achieving desired outcomes, I believe it’s important to acknowledge that extemporized practices taken to mitigate risk, may be rooted, at least in part, in the absence or irrelevance of circumstance (company) specific ‘organizing principles’ which after all, are largely intangible, i.e., comprised of intellectual, relationship, and structural capital.

The notion of ‘muddling through’ is often associated with political (science) arena. Muddling through is often over- simplified (in a military context) as the oft cited notion which suggests ‘after the first shot is fired, all prior planning, regardless of its strategic quality, goes to hell!’

I can think of no circumstance in which ‘muddling through’ should be recognized as a viable or legitimate strategic practice.
For these reasons, I encourage company security directors to exercise caution and prudence when organizations equate – elevate ‘ad hoc’ practices to the level of boastful satisfaction, that yes, may have been the product of individual – sector specific judgements and experiences, not to be mistaken though with ‘flying by the seat of one’s pants’. (This has been substantially adapted/modified by Michael D. Moberly from the fine work of Noah Gordon, The Atlantic, August 14, 2016)

Operationally speaking, if-when company security directors’ operating principles are not practically aligned – coincide with how c-suites conceptualize risk(s) associated with particular initiatives, circumstances, and/or transactions, it’s time to seek – create opportunities to elevate their functional familiarity with the intangible assets in play for each circumstance and their respective risks.

Intangible Asset Unfamiliarity

May 11th, 2017. Published under Intangible assets contributory value., Transaction negotiations and intangible assets.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly May 11, 2017 ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters!’

Not infrequently, when a particularly challenging and risky business transaction is undertaken by a company, but ‘goes south’, it should prompt review by an IA strategist and risk specialist. If so, one likely revelation is that transaction under-performance or failure is variously attributable to operational – circumstantial unfamiliarity with, how, when, why, where, and which IA’s were in play but, not acted on effectively, lucratively, or competitively. Or, the IA’s were insufficiently safeguarded with risks left unnoticed, unmonitored, and unmitigated to influence one or both parties to ‘walk away’.

IA unfamiliarity, frequently translates-materializes as the omission of IA’s from transaction planning and execution, which leaves their contributory role and value, projected sources of revenue, and competitiveness out of a transaction’s ‘go, no go’ equation, and otherwise, off the (transaction) negotiating table. It is true, that the dominant drivers and ‘underwriters’ to most every business transaction are the IA’s which are and will inevitably be in play. As such, they will be vulnerable-receptive to various types-levels of risk, e.g., competitive advantage under-mining, targeted erosion of (asset) value, and/or numerous types-levels of compromise.

It is necessary today, that businesses and their management teams recognize risk can materialize in other than single, unrelated acts or events. Quite the opposite, any one, or multiples of risks may occur simultaneously and/or in ‘chain reaction’ contexts and wholly negate or substantially minimize projected-desired outcomes, even more so when (IA) unfamiliarity and risk mitigation are either absent or executed in a mediocre manner.

Similarly, poorly planned and executed business transactions that experience underperformance or failure are seldom, if ever, ‘one off’ events, but, never-the-less, may be redeemable. With numerous (IA dominant) engagements behind me, I have come to conclude that not an insignificant percentage of the issues businesses and management teams experience regarding their IA’s, irrespective of how evident and present they are, is variously attributable to those assets being ‘non-physical’, i.e., outside conventional (human) senses of sight, sound, touch, or smell, and therefore, they find it intellectually challenging to converge (the intangible) with the conventions of tangible-physical assets. Another consequence of asset ‘intangibility’ is that it can dissuade some business leaders and management teams from recognizing IA’s as being relevant players and/or contributors to company value, competitiveness, revenue, or sustainability.

It is true, a percentage of business leadership, remain variously dismissive and under-appreciative of IA’s, i.e., what they are, and how to utilize (exploit) them effectively, lucratively, and competitively, in other words, recognizing their contributory role, value, and competitive advantages which they can, and often do, produce. Not so coincidentally then, when IA’s are treated dismissively or wholly neglected, their contributory value can be significantly weakened, conceded to competitors, or relegated to the non-denominational and virtually unusable ‘catch-all’ of goodwill.

Either way, I find there is no single mechanism to overcome these real and detrimental shortcomings, aside from seeking – achieving operational level familiarity with IA’s for which one has control, use, ownership, and (fiduciary) responsibility to safeguard, exploit, monetize.

Consistently, I find, practitioners who possess operational familiarity with IA’s, especially those in play to a transaction or initiative as contributors to projected value, revenues, competitive advantages, and marketing and branding outcomes, also possess operational insights that extend well beyond merely what’s posted on conventional financial statements and balance sheets.

As always comments are welcome!

Intangible Asset Operational Familiarity

May 10th, 2017. Published under Intangible asset training for management teams.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly May 10, 2017 ‘An intangible asset business blog where attention span really matters’!

Today, IA intensive-dependent (business) environments are rapidly becoming a managerial – operational norms with the IA’s in play, being just that, collaboratives of intangible – non-physical elements primarily in the form of intellectual, relationship, competitive, and structural capital. The ‘intangibleness’ of these assets variously contribute to management teams exhibiting hesitancy and/or reluctance to engage – act upon assets which are not necessarily subject to being seen, heard, felt, or touched, versus tangible-physical assets which can be, obviously.

Anecdotally I suspect, such cautionary perspectives influence many management teams to not recognize the economic – competitive advantage benefits crossing the chasm into the realm of IA’s, even though they consistently play a dominant role in business (transaction) outcomes. Preferably, readers will find this book leaves no doubts about and mitigates any reluctance to engage IA’s, but do so having achieved operational level familiarity with IA’s as conveyed throughout this book.

There are two words – phrases frequently expressed by management teams insofar as describing the materialization and impact of risk to a company’s IA’s, one being ‘speed’ and the other being ‘cascading affects’. Obviously, the ubiquitous smart phone and social media, IA risk materialization, particularly reputation risk, can commence and cascade (go viral) at keystroke speeds.

Absent continual flow and monitoring of data, observations, and experiential insights regarding the performance and state of a company’s intellectual, structural, competitive, and relationship capital under various circumstances and stressors, operational know how for preempting-mitigating IA risk, aside from Ouija boards or crystal balls, will fall short. More specifically, decision-makers, absent that operational familiarity will have little, or no, foreknowledge regarding the (potential) ‘scalability’ of IA risks, i.e., when-where-why-how they will materialize, and their adverse impacts as they cascade.

When IA outcomes to a business initiative or transaction are obscured because they have been compulsorily packaged as mere goodwill, any conventional ‘GPS’ a company may have will likely be unable to identify, unravel, and ‘plug’ the source of (IA) value, revenue, and/or competitive advantage compromise because their IA’s have not been factored (pre-programmed). Circumstances such as this, clearly suggest, at least through this authors’ lens, that relying solely on reviews of financial statements or subjective anecdotes as primary venues to acquire comprehensive portraits of a company’s financial – competitive advantage health or have timely awareness of important IA predicaments that warrant attention are likely to be insufficient, arbitrary, and ultimately fail.

Unless – until business leadership acknowledge IA operational familiarity is a legitimate and forward looking (managerial) requisite, then, its likely, subjectivity will remain the dominant driver. And, those doing so, should be prepared to incur numerous, and often irreversible missteps, miscues, and oversights (strategic as well as tactical) that lead to disillusionment, under-performance, and even failure.

That said, it would be imprudent to infer every financial – operational contest a business experiences is born from unfamiliarity with, acting dismissively toward, or mishandling, or under-utilizing a company’s IA’s. On the other hand, prudent leaders and management teams are obliged to internalize this economic fact – business reality, 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and competitive position lie in – emerge directly from IA’s.

Comments are always welcome and encouraged. Respectfully, Mike.

Intangible Asset Risk Thresholds and Tolerances

May 6th, 2017. Published under Intangible asset risk tolerances and thresholds.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly May 6, 2017 ‘A intangible asset business blog where attention span really matters’.

Intangible asset (IA) risks that materialize will, in most instances, be cause for adjusting a businesses’ tolerances – thresholds for IA risk, irrespective of size, sector, maturity, and/or financial health.

Too, many businesses, whether acknowledged or not signal, in advance, their thresholds and tolerances for IA risk. This is especially relevant to risks that materialize near ‘keystroke speed’ ala social media, that produce adverse impacts to IA value, revenue, competitive advantage, sustainability, and equity.

Anecdotally, I find a significant variable lies in learning whether (how) business leaders conceive of their asset risk exposure (i.e., vulnerability, probability, criticality) in threshold and/or tolerance contexts. A company’s thresholds-tolerances for IA risk should seldom, if ever be executed in a one-size-fits-all context. That’s because IA materiality, value, revenue generation, competitive advantages produced, including the assets’ fragility, stability, defensibility, sustainability, and contributory values ratios fluctuate. Business-company leadership are obliged to assess – factor variables affecting risk to their IA’s, e.g.,

• speed of (risk) materialization and its expansion – embeddedness
throughout an enterprise.
• criticality of risk materialization to all or specific parts/units of
a company, its products and services.
• a company’s capabilities to and the speed which it recognizes and
mitigates (neutralizes) risk(s).
• a company’s overall resiliency, ala recuperative capabilities
relative to compromised, undermined, or lost IA’s vis-à-vis
customers, clients, consumers, and suppliers, etc.

Business leadership and management teams are obliged to factor IA risk tolerances – thresholds as being integral to structuring (undertaking, negotiating, and executing) any new business initiative, transaction, product-service rollout, or R&D, etc. Clearly, the manner-in-which companies – businesses approach, prepare for, and ultimately respond to (IA) risk potential and materialization, varies considerably.

To my recollection, I have been engaged in only a handful of conversations over the course of 25+ years in the IA arena, in which insurers and insureds were part, and the words ‘intangible assets’ were applied. I find in many instances, business-company leadership operationally unfamiliar with IA’s they have control, use, and ownership, equate or assume their threshold and/or tolerance for risk is magically reflected in the insurance plan and/or the insurer’s explanations. Obviously, there is far more attention paid to the cost -price of (risk insurance) premiums and the total dollar (value of) losses to physical-tangible assets than IA’s.

My experiences suggest that ‘risk’ remains largely oriented to tangible-physical assets, and as such, is likely to be-a-reflection of subjective, pre-determined (risk) thresholds and/or tolerances calculated by insurers and underwriters. These conventions are generally weighted toward the type, content, and (replace) value of an insureds’ physical-tangible products and services vs. the contributory role and value of IA’s.

There are indeed, numerous forward looking – thinking business leaders and management teams who recognize the absolute importance of anticipating and trying to mitigate IA-specific risk, which is what this book will focus. It is after all, an economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and competitive advantage lie in – emerge directly from IA’s, so it’s prudent that risk thresholds and tolerances fully encompass relevant IA’s.

It is after all, the manner-in-which the company’s IA’s are integrated and applied to its products and/or services that individually or collectively elevate their value, competitiveness, and revenue generation capacity. Ironically, it is those same intangible features, characteristics, and inputs which find attractivity-appeal to global cadres of ultra-sophisticated economic and competitive advantage adversaries.

This leads to another (second) facet of IA risk management which is emerging with consistent frequency and is a consequence of a management team’s felt obligation and/or necessity to ‘get to the market space first’ with their innovation, product, or service. In other words, the go fast, go hard, go global phenomenon is itself a driver of risk to IA’s.

As always, comments are encouraged and most welcome.

Intangible Asset Attention Spans…

May 1st, 2017. Published under Intangible asset training for management teams., Managing intangible assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly May 1, 2017 ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’!

The still, not-so-obvious, but today, absolutely-essential elements to building business value and creating competitive and sustainable sources of revenue, lie in monetizing-exploiting IA’s, competitive advantages and mitigating risks. This is what IA strategists and risk specialists consistently endeavor to achieve on behalf of companies, i.e., develop and execute practical, business-product specific strategies with lucrative and competitive outcomes, which begins by recognizing…

• the globally universal economic fact and business reality that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantages, and sustainability today lie in – emerge directly from their IA’s…

• most business circumstances and transactions undertaken today and projected returns, i.e., value, revenue, competitive advantages, etc., are more likely to materialize when IA’s are effectively put in play and collaboratively converge, at some level, at some time, or in some manner.

• it is a rapidly evolving requisite to effective business management, i.e., profitability, revenue generation, competitive advantage, and sustainability, etc., is achieving operational (business) level familiarity with key IA’s that consistently deliver contributory role and value

• business leadership and management teams have fiduciary responsibilities (Stone v. Ritter) to routinely and objectively ask…

…is this company properly positioned, insofar as possessing the necessary expertise and skill sets, to identify, unravel, develop, bundle, utilize, and extract as much value as possible from its IA’s, while simultaneously monitoring – mitigating risks and safeguarding assets’ value, sustainability, and materiality…?

So, why is it that a not-infrequent rejoinder by practitioners when approached with a new management tool and/or process, which perhaps they have limited familiarity, but have achieved uncontestable records of producing – delivering an array of revenue, value, and competitive advantage benefits to businesses may initially be dismissed and/or skepticism expressed, because it’s not immediately recognized as a correlate to mitigating a (business point of) pain.

Once dismissed, or skepticism is expressed, recognition of beneficial outcomes becomes, when – if it occurs, may do so only during or following experiencing a substantial ‘business pain’. In most instances ‘felt’ business pain is interpreted as warranting immediate ‘stop gap’ attention and resources by company leadership, but which anecdotal experience suggests, may have already metastasized as being irreversible.

One plausible (anecdotal) explanation for this phenomena has-to-do-with the self-evident and current commonality of short-lived – abbreviated attention spans which breed inclinations to focus on what’s perceived or characterized as near term issues, concerns, and/or outcomes. Not-so-coincidentally, these perceptions align with existing business practices and transaction environments which bear the mantra of go fast, go hard, go global, but leave little, if any, space or shelf-life for initiatives that deviate from past practice, particularly for those already well-versed in conventional b-school curricula.

Effectively managing a company’s IA’s lies in recognizing the necessity and relevance of looking forward, i.e., sustain control, use, and ownership, and monitor value, materiality, competitiveness, and risk of relevant (in play) IA’s. Should these (fiduciary responsibilities) obligations be dismissed, neglected, not occur, or fail, little else may matter, because the contributions IA’s create – deliver to every business, i.e., value, competitive advantages, and sources of revenue, etc., will quickly erode, become undermined, or, go to zero!

Comments are always welcome…

It’s Your Intangible Assets, Stupid!

April 27th, 2017. Published under 'Safeguarding Intangible Assets', Business Transactions. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 27, 2017 ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’.

It should be clear by now that most companies-businesses are variously IA (intangible asset) intensive and dependent. That is, their value, functionality, competitiveness, revenue, and sustainability emanate through effective use and exploitation of the pillars of IA’s, i.e., intellectual, relationship, and structural capital. IA intensive and dependent businesses have irreversibly outpaced their tangible (physical) asset-dominated counterparts insofar as origins – producers of value, revenue, competitiveness, and sustainability.

In no small part today, these circumstances have contributed to two simultaneous and parallel business environments, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive…

• one, driven by hyper-competitive, higher risk, aggressive, predatorial, and winner-take-all approaches for negotiating – executing transactions and outcomes.

• a second, driven by recognizing lower risk, lucrative outcomes, and niche competitive advantages which can accrue by departing from convention, and instead, seek, negotiate, and execute opportunities for synergistic and lucrative collaborations which can be replicated.

In the latter circumstance, substantially more so than the former, IA’s will be recognized and in play, that is, they may be bought, sold, transferred, licensed, converged, shared, and otherwise collaboratively exploited at various points during-between their development and the end-product (service, system) which they are to play a contributory role.

However, any occasion in which a business management team – decision maker engages in a strategy of collaboration, strategic alliance, partnership, and/or a multi-company consortium, in which ultra-valuable and competitive IA’s are in play, is, in my judgment, hedging the transactions’ success on the assumption that the it can consummate execute, and deliver returns faster than the IA’s in play will be variously compromised, infringed, misappropriated, and/or counterfeited. Today, the sophistication, ‘keystroke speed’, and ‘always on’ state which globally predatorial and legacy free economic-competitive advantage adversaries function should not be overlooked or underestimated.

In sports parlance, those who assume a strategy whereby ‘they can develop and collaborate faster than…’, have accepted the perspective that ‘the best defense is a good offense’ approach. But, in high stakes, winner-take-all business transaction management environment in which the full array of valuable IA’s are routinely in play today, such a strategy is akin to ‘permissive neglect’. That is, it leaves control, use, ownership, value, and functionality of those assets unnecessarily vulnerable and at risk.

Any assumption that adverse economic and competitive advantage impacts stemming from business intelligence, data mining, and/or counterfeiting operations, can be offset or minimized by an ‘I can develop and collaborate faster than…’ strategy is respectfully operating at an unnecessary level – combination of short-sightedness, wishful thinking, and absence of fiduciary responsibility.

Reader comments, as always are invited and respectfully welcome!

Intangible Assets and Business Pundits

April 26th, 2017. Published under Business Transactions, Communicating Risk, Intangible asset focused company culture.. No Comments.

Michael D, Moberly April 26, 2017 ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’.

I suspect that, not unlike numerous other skill set rich professions, e.g., those who have achieved operational level familiarity with IA’s (intangible assets), which they have stewardship, oversight, and management responsibility, are quick to recognize circumstances when a (business) pundit and/or alleged SME (subject matter expert) weigh in on matters, i.e., IA’s, for example, that exceed their knowledge base, i.e., is generalized, absent specifics, misleading, or simply incorrect.

When a pundit speciously characterizes an under-performing business transaction, etc., as merely being a consequence of (irrelevant, un-connected) missteps, miscues, or oversights by an individual or a management team, I find this especially frustrating, and certainly a disservice. In part, that’s because my work has been occasionally construed as ‘michael claytonish’ (a film titled ‘Michael Clayton’ played by George Clooney) ala ‘an IA fixer’.

Not infrequently, when a particularly challenging and/or insolent business transaction is undertaken and then reviewed by a competent and objective IA strategist and risk specialist, it will be revealed that a key – underlying reason for under-performance, transaction withdraw, or failure is variously attributable to operational – circumstantial unfamiliarity with, how, when, why, where, and which IA’s were in play but, not acted on effectively, lucratively, or competitively, or worse, insufficiently safeguarded or risks monitored and mitigated.

In short, the planning and execution of an under-performing transaction, its failure, or, one or both parties electing to ‘walk away’ can be variously attributed to unfamiliarity, operationally speaking, with the IA’s in play.

To be sure, IA unfamiliarity, which frequently translates as omitting IA’s from transaction planning, leaves their contributory role and value, sources of revenue, and competitiveness (irreversibly) out of a business transaction’s ‘go, no go’ equation, and ‘off the transaction negotiating table’. Thus, the dominant drivers and ‘underwriters’ to most every business transaction, i.e., the IA’s which are-will inevitably be in play, become vulnerable to various types-levels of risk, e.g., competitive advantage under-mining, rapid erosion of (asset) value, and/or asset compromises. Any one, or multiples of such risks, can negate or substantially minimize any projected-desired outcome to a transaction, regardless of its stage of execution.

To be sure, challenges associated with resolving business process problems and/or poorly planned-executed transactions that stem from unfamiliarity with or not recognizing IA’s in play are, in many instances, redeemable. Through numerous engagements, I have concluded many such challenges are variously due to IA’s being ‘non-physical’ and therefore, outside conventional-human senses, i.e., see, hear, touch, smell, etc. Consequently, this (asset) ‘intangibility’ combined with the reality, IA’s are seldom, if ever reported on conventional financial statements or balance sheets, somewhat understandably, influences business leadership and management teams to exhibit hesitancy and reluctance to consider IA’s as relevant players and/or contributors to company value, competitiveness, revenue, or sustainability.

This author’s forthcoming book respectfully mitigates most, if not all such reluctance and hesitancy by ensuring thorough, relevant, and practical explanations and rationales are in place to address the various contexts – circumstances in which IA’s are in play through their contributory role and value.

It is true, a percentage of business leadership, remain variously dismissive and under-appreciative of IA’s, i.e., what they are, and how to utilize (exploit) them effectively lucratively, and competitively, in other words, their contributory role, value, and competitive advantages they can, and often do produce. Not so coincidentally then, when IA’s are treated dismissively or wholly neglected, their contributory value will be significantly weakened, conceded to competitors, or relegated to the non-denominational and virtually unusable ‘catch-all’ of goodwill.

Either way, I find there is no single mechanism to overcome these real and detrimental shortcomings, aside from seeking – achieving operational level familiarity with IA’s for which one has control, use, ownership, and (fiduciary) responsibility to safeguard, exploit, monetize.

Consistently however, practitioners that possess operational familiarity with their various IA’s in play to a transaction or initiative, i.e., as direct components – contributors to projected value, revenue, competitive advantages, and marketing and branding outcomes, also recognize – have operational insights about how IA’s have direct bearing on company value and revenue, which extends well beyond merely what’s posted on conventional financial statements and balance sheets.

The position conveyed here, and throughout my forthcoming book, is that exclusive reliance on conventional financial statements and balance sheets as strategic oracles for business operation and transaction planning, but, absent factoring essential IA-related data, will likely lead to arbitrary, subjective, and unsystematic tracts for execution. However, with the rapid expansion of effective, competitive, and lucrative business operability, i.e., IA intensity and dependency, provides credence and rationale due for business leadership and management teams to recognize IA’s contributory role and value, which this book and this author consistently argue, are warranted.

Business Transaction Due Diligence Intangible Assets

April 21st, 2017. Published under Due Diligence and Risk Assessments, Intangible asset risk tolerances and thresholds.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 21, 2017 ‘A intangible asset business blog where attention span really matters’.

Transaction due diligence is, most always warranted, particularly in today’s ‘always on’, aggressively competitive, predatory, and often ‘winner-take all’ global business environment in which asset loss, erosion, and undermining can occur at ‘keystroke speed’. However, when transaction due diligence is framed – conducted through a conventional, IP only (intellectual property) lens, opportunities to recognize and exploit the value of embedded IA’s and (proprietary) competitive advantages can be, and frequently are, under-estimated, overlooked, dismissed, or considered redundant, or irrelevant to the presumptive deterrent effects associated with conventional IP enforcements, i.e., a registered patent, copyright, trademark, or designating specific knowledge and/or knowhow (intellectual, structural, relationship capital) as a trade secret.

Today, business transaction due diligence must be far more than a cursory review of (legal, accounting) documents and the status of IP, i.e., P&L’s, financial statements, and/or balance sheets. Through my lens, these documents often constitute little more than ‘snap-shots-in time’ as incomplete glimpses into a company’s financial – competitive advantage circumstance.

Too, its unlikely such conventional ‘snap-shots’ will surface-reveal the contributory role, value, sources of revenue, and competitive advantages produced – generated by IA’s, which are embedded and interwoven in various levels of a company’s intellectual, relationship, competitive, and structural capital. More specifically, in conventionally practiced-conducted business transaction due diligence, these, and other characteristics and attributes of IA’s, are unlikely to be recognized as having actual dollar value and competitive advantages, or otherwise have a bearing on a transactions’ outcome, that is, for the IA ‘operationally un-familiar’.

Be it an acquisition, merger, alliance, partnership, buy-sell transaction, or new market entry initiative, each circumstance can quickly become mired in impediments if-when the IA’s in play are overlooked or not effectively unraveled relative to their origins, ownership, control, and the manner-in-which they are utilized and exploited. This-is-why, I recommend transaction due diligence be IA-centric and conducted in pre, and post (transaction) contexts.

Again, conventional ‘check the box’ conceived templates of due diligence are unsatisfactory because they are seldom inclusive, comprehensive, or sufficiently forward looking to capture, unravel, and monitor the (risk and value) relevant to the IA’s in play and are often constrained by unwarranted anxieties and requests for speed. Too, it’s worth noting again, it is a globally universal economic fact – business reality today that 80+% of both a company’s and a targets’ value and sources of revenue lie in – emerge directly from IA’s. This makes it all-the-more essential that any business transaction due diligence fully address IA’s.

The primary objective for any IA due diligence activity is unraveling the circumstances pertinent to the IA’s in play, which, in turn, serve as a basis for providing superior knowledge about a target and the transaction being undertaken in a manner that contributes to decision makers’ determination about whether the targets’ IA’s can sustain the terms and objectives of the proposed deal.

Specifically, IA due diligence should describe, for decision makers, the status, fragility, stability, and defensibility of about-to-be-purchased and/or exchanged IA’s, including IP, and other forms of proprietary competitive advantages, by revealing, among other things, any evidence of:

• over confident – embellished representations.

• purposeful or premature disclosures, or open source leakage that
leads to assets being compromised.

• internal/external entanglements involving the IA’s in play.

• probing by and/or adverse impact from business intelligence,
competitive advantage adversaries, or economic espionage.

A thorough pre-post IA-specific due diligence conveys a strong and important message to actual or prospective (transaction) targets, by zeroing in on their centers of value, competitiveness, revenue generation capacity, brand, and sustainability, etc., while minimizing non-essential – (irrelevant) information drawn from conventional and gratuitous ‘check-the-box’ actions which seldom provide the level of specificity that’s essential for today for IA intensive and dependent businesses and transactions in which IA monitoring is critical to lucrative, competitive, and sustainable outcomes. That’s because IA value and competitive advantage fluctuation, erosion, and/or undermining can commence at ‘keystroke speed’.

Converting Intangible Assets To Sources of Value, Revenue, and Competitive Advantage…

April 17th, 2017. Published under Intangible Asset Value, Intangible assets contributory value.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 17, 2017 ‘A business blog about intangible assets where attention span really matters’!

As an IA strategist, there is satisfaction in providing respectful and lucrative guidance to businesses to pilot their IA’s from their identification, assessment, and development stages, including instances of acquisition, through monetization and exploitation, i.e., their conversion to sources of revenue, value, and competitive advantage. This represents a major emphasis, to focus on ‘the revenue and competitive advantage side’ of IA’s and business.

There are indeed, various paths to IA conversion, frequently nuanced by circumstance, context, risk, and business-client objective. Devising particular, i.e., good, better, best strategies to convert IA’s, often depends on – may vary relative to issues and/or challenges related to (past-present-future) control, use, ownership of the assets, and the assets’ origins and development, which may already, or will likely be, in play. In most instances, the process remains rather constant, which is to identify, unravel, assess contributory role and value, and ensure the assets in play are effectively safeguarded in a manner commensurate with the IA’s contributory role and value and conversion strategy.

Aspects to IA conversion that should not be overlooked or underestimated are ensuring execution will not influence new challenges and/or risks to surface that provoke a party to wholly withdraw from a proposed or pending transaction.

For these, and other reasons, especially in today’s go fast, go hard, go global workforce and business (transaction) environment, unraveling and endeavoring to lucratively and competitively resolve IA-related challenges, risks, or disputes (proactively, when possible) surely warrants having concurrent and at will executable capabilities to engage rapidly, knowledgeably, and effectively, ala IA operational familiarity.

To be sure, I am not suggesting here that all business challenges and risks today are sparked by misunderstandings, misgivings, or alternate interpretations about the disposition, contributory value, ownership, control, or use – exploitation of IA’s, most any of which, if materialized, would deliver a strong probability for adversely affecting any-all IA’s in play, absent safeguards and risk prevention – mitigation.

However, it is quite imprudent for business leadership-management teams to exhibit dismissiveness and/or disregard for the globally universal economic fact that 80+% of their company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, sustainability, and future wealth creation lie in – derive directly from IA’s. It’s prudent on the other hand, to anticipate and expect there are always potentialities for challenges-risks to emerge for most every conceivable type of transaction or initiative. That’s because, IA’s are always on and inevitably in play!

Again, and obviously, the primary objective is to mitigate, if not prevent, risks from materializing, especially those which can (will) manifest as business impediments, stifle a transaction’s momentum, and/or spawn new risk variants that will likely yield, absent rapid and effective intervention, uncompetitive and unproductive outcomes.

That said, as a practitioner, I see the stewardship, oversight, and management of IA’s being realized – accepted by the forward thinking, as business operation norms today. In other words, IA’s should not be cordoned off as the exclusive (do not touch) domains of legal counsel, accounting, or auditing. For those business leaders – managers not already so inclined, there is ample evidence to suggest it’s now essential to acquire, and have, at the ready, sufficient IA operational familiarity upon which, deliberate, lucrative, competitive, and executable strategies can emerge rapidly, and perhaps, most importantly, at will.

There is no objective or persuasive doubt today, that growing percentages of business relationships and transactions emerge, develop, and execute on-the-basis-of ultra-valuable and ultra-competitive IA’s being available and in play. As such, the stakes and outcomes to business transactions and initiatives are indeed, high. So, it is here that I believe, respectful,
knowledgeable, and genuinely collaborative IA strategists must be ‘permanently’ positioned to…

…provide the necessary and relevant counsel to develop lucrative-
competitive strategies (paths) to benefit IA intensive-dependent
businesses and companies by unraveling, mitigating, and/or preventing
materialization of risk that will undermine asset value, revenues, and
competitive advantages.

Intangible Asset Book…forthcoming

April 11th, 2017. Published under New Intangible Asset Book. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 11, 2017 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’! (PART II)

Introduction: The following represents a snippet of my forthcoming (second) book on matters related intangible assets. The first book titled, ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ was published by Elsevier in July, 2014. In my new, yet to be published book, readers will be presented with multiple and various ‘solution sets’ to address real, current, and recurring challenges related to developing, unraveling, and exploiting their IA’s.

Another, not insignificant contributor to businesses general reluctance to consistently engage their IA’s, i.e., development, acquisition, exploitation, etc., stems from a parallel business – economic reality that, at best, produces confusion. That is, IA’s are seldom, if ever, reported – accounted for on company balance sheets or financial statements, matters aggressively addressed throughout this book.

This very conventional absence of reporting and accounting of businesses IA’s and other IA activity, ownership, and exploitation are routinely rationalized (sustained) by questioning…

– questioning – being unfamiliar with the relevancy of IA’s, which, in turn,
often translates to…

– questions about why should any (businesses) devote time and possibly resources to monitoring, safeguarding, and otherwise achieving operational familiarity with assets which are (a.) intangible, and (b.) not reported?

To the operationally unfamiliar, either-both questions warrant answers which, I point out, are objectively provided throughout my forthcoming book.

The facts are, continued reluctance to engage and acknowledge businesses IA’s, and otherwise act dismissively toward their contributory – operational role and value, wholly disregards the replicable, consistent, objective, and global economic fact (real business reality) that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, and sustainability lie in – evolve directly from IA’s.

It is all-the-more troublesome when business pundits misleadingly portray (characterize, attribute) a failed business initiative or a poorly executed transaction to single managerial misreads, missteps, and/or miscues, when, upon review (unraveling) by a competent IA strategist and risk specialist, it not infrequently becomes clear that the problem(s) is attributable to…

• operational – circumstantial unawareness of and/or unfamiliarity with,
how, when, where, and which IA’s were in play, and

• those IA’s were not acted on (executed, exploited, leveraged) effectively,
lucratively, or competitively,

– nor were risks to the IA’s in play, which can undermine their competitiveness, revenue generation, and/or value) identified, mitigated, or the assets safeguarded accordingly.

Failure on either of these levels, leaves asset value and competitiveness ‘on the table’ and out of the business initiative-transaction equation.

Unfortunately, such post-transaction analysis conducted by IA strategists and risk specialists are far too routine. In other words, a significant percentage of business leaders remain dismissive of the necessity to distinguish – measure the contributory role, value, and performance of IA’s in play for each (often nuanced) transaction and circumstance they elect to undertake. That’s often in addition to mistakenly ‘lumping’ all IA issues into the non-denominational bucket of referred to as ‘goodwill’.

Similarly, some business leaders, at least initially, find it challenging to recognize and commence resolution of business issues that stem from – are rooted in their IA’s, e.g., value, revenue, performance, and competitive advantage, etc. Therefore, in numerous instances, those in leadership roles accustomed to recognizing – measuring business activities in (tangible) ‘bottom line’ outcomes, the practical realities associated with the now overwhelmingly dominant and contributory role and value of IA’s, presents challenges to translate anew or cross-reference.

Still, in numerous instances (business) problem awareness and identification initially emerges from analysis of financial statements and balance sheets. The position conveyed throughout this book however, is that reliance on periodic financial statements and balance sheets which are absent essential data describing IA performance and value, business problem-issue resolution will likely be arbitrary and unsystematic. That is, until leadership achieves operational level familiarity with and acknowledge IA’s are almost always in play and are absolutely essential to painting a complete value-competitive-revenue portrait of a company’s circumstance.

It would be imprudent for the author to imply that all business operating challenges are rooted in leadership exhibiting dismissiveness toward or mishandling of IA’s in play. However, given IA’s increasingly significant and lucrative role in most every facet of business operability, stewardship, oversight, and management, safeguarding and mitigating risk to IA’s indeed warrants operational level familiarity.

This book respectfully and comprehensively engages business-company problem identification and resolution from the standpoint of accommodating a range of industry sectors prospective reader interests, insofar as…

• elevating reader awareness and operational familiarity with their IA’s, irrespective of sector, and whether they operate in domestic and/or global environments.
• to fill problematic voids relative to utilizing, commercializing, safeguarding, and mitigating risks to IA’s effectively, lucratively, and competitively.