Trust, Reputation, and Value Propositions

May 22nd, 2015. Published under Company culture and reputation., Value Propositions. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly   May 22, 2015    ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

Trust between employers and employees and companies and customers (clients, consumers, etc.) is an essential and very relevant IA (intangible asset) to most company’s profitability and sustainability, irrespective of sector. Through my lens, at least in business contexts, trust is embedded in – translates as relationship capital and reputation, additional key IA’s, and, as such, play increasingly significant roles in articulating, materializing, and sustaining a company’s value proposition. But trust, like many other ‘business’ terms, are frequently prey to individualized definition and translation.

Sarcastically, when I see – hear one, in a leadership role, take a podium to evangelize about the importance of trust, I find it prudent, to recognize who, for what purpose, and the context in which they are endeavoring to characterize trust. In other words, I often find expressions of trust to be circumstance and/or context specific, but sprinkled with sufficient commonalities tantamount to self-serving glue that allows the definition to retain a semblance of palatability.

Trust, like numerous other business terms, is receptive to being defined in a manner that reflects a speaker’s circumstance to casts them in a preferred (positive) light vis-à-vis their customers, clients, superiors, and/or consumers, something which I would advise Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, aka “The Cartel” to not try waste resources to argue, for some time, once again.

Aside from the financial services sector, many of us remain inclined to feel that someone whom we presume possess perspectives and values similar to our own can, and should be worthy of our trust. Thus, we would likely be receptive to their overtures. More specifically, when I am engaged with individuals, in business and IA management-safeguard initiative, whom there there is evidence of shared commonalities, it’s likely I will be inclined – receptive to feeling they have my interests in mind.

That sense of course, emanates from another assumption which is, one’s present – past experiential commonalities serve as emotional entrées to trust. One might go so far as to suggest when we are surrounded by people whom we believe are like us, there will be a reciprocating inclination of trust.

Trust is a feeling, and thus a distinctly human experience says Simon Sinek. But, merely doing everything one has expressed – been interpreted as a promise you would do, does not robotically mean people will trust you. Instead, it more objectively translates that you may be reliable. To drill down further on this, most of us have friends who, by reasonable standards of assessment, could be characterized as not being particularly reliable or trustworthy, yet, because they are like us, we are inclined to trust them and remain friends, claims Sinek.

Trust is important because, when one is in the presence of individuals with shared beliefs, we are more confident – receptive to engage in some level of risk taking, experimentation, or exploration which, it’s likely we would not be inclined to do otherwise. After all, our personal – professional survivability and sustainability are, arguably dependent upon our ability to surround ourselves – serve with others with shared beliefs!

(This post evolved from NPR’s ‘Ted Radio Hour’ that aired on May 15, 2015, hosted by Guy Raz with a segment conducted by Simon Sinek, an adjuct to RAND Corporation.)

Intangible Assets in B-School Curriculum

May 14th, 2015. Published under Intangible asset teaching and training., Intangible asset training for management teams.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly    May 14, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

The absence of intangible assets in B-school curriculum is tantamount to business education heresy. Some years ago, while preparing to teach a management course, I framed and sequenced course materials to reflect my determination and eagerness to introduce MBA students not merely to IA’s, but strategies related to managing them, mitigating risks, sustaining ownership, and understanding their competitive content and contributory value.

It’s essential IA’s be incorporated as teaching-learning elements to b-school’s undergrad and graduate programming, if, for no other reason than steadily rising percentages (i.e., 80+%) of most companies’ value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, profitability, and sustainability evolve directly from these non-physical asset class, particularly, intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, brand, reputation, goodwill, competitive advantages, and intellectual property, etc.

Upon commencing this MBA course, I quickly introduced students to intangible assets and affirmed they would be integral learning objectives to the course. Just as quickly, it became clear, with one exception, that, for even the most experienced and employed students, intangible assets were not part of their lexicon, repertoire of talent, or skill sets, save for one student who did acquire a limited, but far from operational familiarity for specific types-categories of intangible assets once they were pointed out. But that familiarity was generally limited to intellectual property (patents primarily), reputation, and brand.  Student generally characterized    intangibles in standalone – individualized contexts, not reliant on or connected to other company assets.

End of course teaching assessments coupled with student responses to essay questions related to intangible asset issues revealed challenges remained, particularly achieving a sufficient (operational) grasp of intangibles in several key areas, e.g., how…

  • IA’s could be subject to a collective framework of (asset) management, stewardship, and oversight.
  • to recognize and assess IA’s contributory value (to a company, a particular product, service, or other broader initiative.
  • to distinguish particular IA’s as contributing to – being drivers of specific  sources of revenue, and
  • the assets’ could be persistently vulnerable to various and asymmetric risks which, once materialized, would erode and/or undermine company value, the benefits of competitive advantages, (company, product) reputation, and new product launches, etc.

Respectfully, IA’s represent a variously challenging concept to grasp and apply in value-add, revenue generation, monetization, and exploitation contexts, to name just a few.  As for this course, I sensed then, and still do, that an important conceptual hurdle to understanding intangible assets along with achieving some level of operational familiarity, may reside in the word ‘intangible’.  That is, IA’s lack a conventional sense of physicality, unlike tangible (physical) assets which one can see, touch, and report on balance sheets and financial statements.

Again, respectfully, this was, for these MBA students, their initial introduction to IA’s. In part, their lack of familiarity is a reflection of shortcomings in the larger business community that still struggles with how to effectively and efficiently engage and utilize the intangible assets their company – organization produces or acquires.

As the nine week course progressed, a significant percentage of the students appeared to concede the role, function, and contributory value of intangible assets.  It’s worth noting, one student with an especially progressive career in financial services, clearly conveyed he was grasping IA’s, however, he consistently challenged, even resisted the positive spin I was endeavoring to espouse regarding the relevance and contributory value of intangible assets across all industry sectors.

This particular student articulated his reticence by describing numerous multi-million dollar loan and acquisition transactions which he personally oversaw, throughout which there was absolutely no mention, recognition, or accounting of intangible assets being in play, in either valuation, collateral (securitization) or due diligence contexts.

At the conclusion of the last class, this student said to me in a respectful, yet very definitive tone…”I understand what you’re saying Mr. Moberly about IA’s, but I just don’t see IA’s ever becoming an issue in my bank as you are suggesting they should and will, at least while the current (bank) officers remain in place. In my bank, it’s solely about identifying and assessing the value of physical assets as collateral”.

Of course, the point to all of this is, does the same attitude and perspective hold true for business management teams, c-suites, and boards, in general?  To be sure, attitudes toward and fundamental operational familiarity with IA’s is changing as the economic fact – business reality becomes clearer, i.e., 80+% of most company’s value and sources of revenue emanate from IA’s.

Introducing intelligent, seasoned, and already successful business decision-makers, boards, and management teams to intangible assets, and that the time they devote to learning about intangibles, their valuation, and strategies to effectively use and extract value from them, along with the necessity to safeguard and monitor the assets’ value, risk, and materiality are indeed worthy of their time. Unfortunately however, intangible assets remain somewhat of a hard sell!

 

 

 

 

Risk Tolerance – Appetite: Where Does Your Company Stand?

May 12th, 2015. Published under Organizational resilience and business continuity/conti. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly    May 12, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span really matters!’

In my corner of the business world where 80+% of most company’s value and sources of revenue lie in – evolve directly from IA’s (intangible assets), it’s routine for me to cross paths with very astute, experienced, and financially successful company management team members (c-suites). Somewhat ironically, at least through my lens, many quite cavalierly express the view that it’s impossible to eliminate all (business) risk. I have come to interpret, quite correctly I believe, that mantra is symbolic of the subjective manner in which many c-suites treat risk.

My response to such views is usually to politely hedge a little by suggesting it is possible to mitigate a large percentage of most business’ risk! However, and here comes the hedging part, the resources a company may have to dedicate – reallocate to a (risk) mitigation initiative, and the resulting restrictions, subjective as they may be, would likely be embedded with some untenable impracticalities.

Regardless of how subjective risk mitigation may be, at least how I see it being practiced. Few organization decision makers would knowingly assume risk mitigation practices that would…

  • impede operation effectiveness and efficiency or disturb the flow and integration of IA’s,
    • particularly intellectual, structural, relationship, and competitivity capital.

Any company doing so would rapidly find its viability, profitability, and sustainability substantially undermined, if not ‘go to zero’, unless of course, those assets were transferrable.

Through my lens, there are a significant, but actually unknown percentage of companies in which their tolerance – appetite for risk…

  • varies over time and is often circumstance – transaction specific, i.e., influenced by…
    • the products – services a company produces, delivers, and its target customers.
    • the perceptions – beliefs held by c-suites and boards regarding business risk climate.
    • a prior adverse experience or shared anecdote from another company.
    • the manner and locations in which a company interacts with – engages its primary markets, i.e., customers, supply chains, and myriad stakeholders.

According to Dr. Marc Siegel, a globally respected organizational resilience specialist, there are ways to measure and assess a company’s tolerance – appetite for risk. Most, Siegel says are dependent on their

1. Experience, e.g., the confidence level held by company management teams’ acquired largely through their familiarity with current and over-the-horizon risks, coupled with their (perceived) capabilities to effectively manage (prevent and/or sufficiently mitigate) such risks.

 2. Resiliency – e.g., if or when a significant (business) risk materializes, are there policies and practices in place to (a.) mitigate – minimize the criticality produced by the risk, and (b.) rapidly return the company to a state of operational and financial – revenue normalcy in a reasonable time frame before risk resiliency is irreversible. Achieving such a desired level of risk resiliency includes minimizing the fragility and vulnerability of company’s – business unit’s intangible assets, particularly intellectual, structural, relationship, and competitive capital for the duration of the risk event.

A related question I routinely pose to management teams, focuses on how they (presumably) achieved consensus to accept or tolerate particular levels of risk relative to a specific transaction, new venture, strategic alliance, etc.?  The answer is frequently some variation to the proverbial…

‘risk is an inherent feature of doing business and all successful business persons are inherently risk takers’.

I approach business risk a little differently in terms of understanding why and how I may respectfully influence management teams, boards, and c-suites, already inclined to have a greater appetite for – tolerance of certain (business) risks and not others. I find it’s frequently due to…

  • types and levels of risk are subjectively measured – assessed to be low, in terms of vulnerability and probability, but extraordinarily high in criticality,
    • making the cost of mitigation, i.e., risk transfer, etc., exceed potential (prospective) benefits, thus self-insurance or elevated tolerance for risk appear to be the prudent, near term option.
  • the asymmetric nature of business risks, i.e., their magnitude, frequency, criticality, and cascading potential, while factoring the type of product or service a company produces, is beyond the capabilities of most to consistently prevent or mitigate.
  • companies’ anticipated – projected business opportunities associated with assuming a certain level of risk, outweigh risk exposures to the point that a management team can justify – rationalize executing a particular transaction or new initiative and therefore assume a substantial portion of the risk.

(This post was inspired by the work of Dr. Marc Siegel and his work related to organizational resilience on behalf of ASIS International.)

Competitive Intelligence Zeroing In On Company’s Intangible Assets…

May 8th, 2015. Published under 'Safeguarding Intangible Assets', Economic Espionage. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly   May 8, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span really matters’.

Competitive (business) intelligence is alive and well and it’s certainly not all cyber-based even thought there is an abundance of off-the-shelf data mining software available that mitigates the tediousness and time associated with conventional approaches to business intelligence collection.

Perhaps what concerns me most has been the continued expansion of ‘legacy free players’ (Thomas Friedman, ‘The World Is Flat’). My definition of ‘legacy free players’ is quite similar to that of Mr. Friedman’s, that is, these individuals/groups may not be necessarily aligned with or employees of nation state sponsors which are frequently technology dependant and sophisticated, or even organized units/cadres of economic spies. Instead, ‘legacy free players’ are, for the most part, independent operators or groups of individuals whose country of origin and cultural perspective about honoring the proprietary information originated by – belonging to others is a relatively new concept insofar as respecting personal, let alone intellectual property rights. In other words, there is an absence of legal, social, or cultural legacy to others’ properties of the mind, i.e., intellectual – human capital.

Setting that aside for the moment, of all the business leaders and management team members I have had the good fortune of conversing over the past 25+ years, when I introduce the subject of competitive intelligence, a substantial percentage of the time, their initial response is embedded with favorable rationalizations ranging from…

  • everybody does it, to
  • one is foolish if they don’t engage in some manner of competitor – business intelligence.

I am aware of no original research – objective data to indicate such characterizations are as accurate as business leaders assume, based on my many years of work-research in this arena, one would be well advised to consider the consistency of the responses suggest a significant percentage of businesses regularly engage in some level – form of competitor-business intelligence.

While their (intelligence) collection and analysis techniques may not be as sophisticated, analytical, or strategically oriented as those conducted by the countless private (independent) competitor intelligence firms operating globally, the information targeted and collected usually provides business decision makers with useable prognosticative insights variously related to the plans, intentions, and capabilities of competitors, i.e., what they are doing, have done, or, are about to do!

Simply stated, I find the adverse affects (of competitor – business intelligence) usually materialize in one of four ways, that is, the purpose, intent, and/or objective are to…

  • undermine, erode, stifle, and otherwise get ahead of a competitors’ initiatives, competitive advantages, market position, and strategic planning.

Any company’s efforts to counter or mitigate the very real adverse affects of competitor intelligence begins with understanding one’s own company’s IA’s (intangible assets).  This means recognizing that IA’s comprise increasing percentages – 80+% of most company’s value sources of revenue and ‘building blocks for growth, profitability, and sustainability! More specifically, IA’s are the real drivers – underliers to company’s value and sources of revenue which are precisely what competitor-business intelligence operatives are seeking, whether, I might add, they actually realize it or not!

Six Reasons Why Business Leaders Are Hesitant To Engage Their Intangible Assets?

May 7th, 2015. Published under Analysis and commentary, Managing intangible assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly    May 7, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

We’re well into the 21st century and the contributory role IA’s (intangible assets) consistently play as value, revenue, and competitive advantage generators, is recognized at the 5,000 foot elevation among business communities globally, but, there is little corresponding evidence that business leaders are actually engaging their IA’s.

At the 5000 foot level, it’s a well known economic fact – business reality that steadily rising percentages, i.e., 80+%, of a most companies’ value and sources of revenue emerge directly from IA’s.

THE question is, what factors are being assumed by business leaders that influence substantial numbers to dismiss, disregard, and otherwise over ride this economic fact – business reality even though engaging their IA’s could benefit their company in numerous ways.

Frankly, I sense no particular urgency, among the leadership of the U.S., and perhaps global business communities to willingly engage their companies IA’s in strategies to maximize and extract as much value and revenue as possible.

Cutting to the chase! I, like other national – international voices advocating greater recognition and utilization of intangible assets, meet with astute, intelligent, and extraordinarily talented and successful business leaders who are apt to use sophisticated techniques to schedule employee work schedules to minimize overtime pay, but, mention the words intangibles or intangible assets and eyes glaze over!

Equally puzzling is, why aren’t these business decision makers acting on this factual, irrefutable information, whether it comes from blog posts like this or other ‘higher’ sources?  Why are these sources of – contributors to organization-wide value and revenue which are literally‘ within hands reach’ being overlooked, neglected, or, in some instances, dismissed outright?

In part, the lack of business leader enthusiasm for intangible assets can be attributed to…

  1. accountant’s governed by law and practice standards, have no particular motivation or obligation to delve too deeply in clients’ IA’s other than what is attributable to goodwill.
  2. faux strategic planning which is more akin to near term – quarterly-based projections that preclude discussions regarding IA utilization or monetization…
  3. ill-informed inclination to assume – characterize IA’s as being synonymous with IP (intellectual property), which serves as rationale for business leadership to attach little relevance because IP matters are contextually structured to be legal only.
  4. self-deprecating assumptions by some business leaders, irrespective of their success, that their company neither produces nor possesses any valuable – competitive advantage intangible assets, worthy of the time and expense to identify and assess.
  5. intangible assets absence of physicality, i.e., having no tangible or conventional physical presence.
  6. presumed consultants’ who inappropriately, and perhaps unwittingly, characterize the identification, unraveling, assessment, and extraction of value, revenue, and competitive advantages from intangible assets as being too complicated, time consuming and producing little ROI.

Understanding and taking affirmative steps to maximize and extract as much value and competitive advantages as possible from the IA’s a company develops, is not rocket science, it’s just good business!

Monetizing Police Cultures’ Intangible Assets

May 5th, 2015. Published under Investing in intangible assets., Value Propositions. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly   May 4, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

Give an experienced entrepreneur operationally familiar with intangible assets five minutes…and most could devise viable and probably mutually receptive strategies for monetizing un-used, under-used, or poorly used IA’s (intangible assets) emanating from public service – policing cultures.

This is not merely a different twist to traffic citation administration masquerading as sustaining a pipeline of revenue…rather, when it comes to policing, and the frequently nuanced organizational cultures that inevitably evolve, I believe police and city management remain largely committed to the conventional ‘protect and serve’ models that are reliant on accumulating crime data without calculating the positive IA’s that are produced

The objective here is to understand and translate the many positive-beneficial IA’s public service – police departments deliver that generate value rooted in IA’s which, in most instances can be individually or collectively monetized in an honorable and fair manner that generates internal pride among community residents and external attractivity and responsibility for infrastructure investment.

I am an advocate of monetizing communities’ IA’s produced by normative cultures…but, such an initiative has two key components, i.e., (1.) it requires leader foresight to recognize the intangible economic – competitive advantage benefits that will accrue to communities that execute well defined and normative (public service and public safety) cultures, and (2.) understanding how effectively exploit those assets for their value-add features, i.e., community-neighborhood reputation, goodwill, image, and existing and prospective user attractivity, etc.

In other words, public safety departmental culture can be legitimate and exploitable catalysts to convey a community is a safe, receptive, and an attractive locale for investments in business, education, personal safety, property value, and the all important ‘I care what happens’!

It’s useful to recognize that in most instances, an organization’s culture is a verb, not a noun…in other words culture maintenance requires action, leadership, and consistent monitoring in order for a normative (police) culture to materialize and be sustained.

Public safety department cultures are nothing particularly new…they have existed for generations. In the present context however, once a culture of like-minded individuals (employees) band together for reasons other than camaraderie.

For a myriad of reasons and rationales some individuals are compelled to seek out and band together with other like-minded individuals for defense, mutual support, or to accommodate a felt or acquired personal need which manifest as an accumulation of personalized IA’s, i.e., reputation, image, perceptions, affiliation, intellect, capabilities, fears, etc.

In these circumstances, a cultures’ rationale sometimes intensifies prejudice and xenophobic attitudes antagonistic toward certain citizen groups.

Organizational cultures and the sub-cultures they frequently spring are intertwined collections of IA’s embedded in sociology and psychology…the product and presence of which can be sensed or observed as actions, inactions, and behaviors which either adhere to or disregard social norms, departmental policies, or law.

Where there is sustained evidence that an organization’s culture has gone terribly awry, departmental leadership has much more than a mere obligation to modify and monitor it… instead, it becomes a fiduciary duty-responsibility to rapidly and aggressively engage, take the necessary steps to re-direct it’s rationale and monitor it for assurance and compliance. Of course, when a (sub-) culture of negativity is rooted in – emanates from higher, over-arching echelons of a city’s administration, the positive actions and interactions of individual officer can seldom favorably influence the whole. In such instances, my counsel to officers is to resign yesterday!

Integral to any prescription for adverse culture reclamation, is recognizing that an influential underlier… is that police are frequently first responders in communities and neighborhoods where there has already been long a multi-generation neglect and/or dismissiveness to issues of import to the residents which exponentially cascade. Thus, a policing culture that will likely evolve is a product of 2-3 generations of mutually undermined trust, antagonism, and tension.

Collectively, this becomes the entrée for collaborative culture leadership…by putting in place (oversight, monitoring, and assessment) practices, policies, and procedures respecting a community’s socio-economic circumstances.

But, cultivating a normative organizational culture…requires principled and thoughtful leadership, wisdom, time, and intellectual curiosity to recognize factors that influence culture development and sustainability. There are ample (anecdotal) indicators that ‘good to great’ leaders are concerned about it, pay attention to it, endeavor to achieve it, and realize it’s important to monitor it, there is no one-size-fits-all methodology to repair or develop a proper organizational culture overnight.

Once a proper organizational culture has been achieved, seldom can it be imitated by competitors…as David Lapin points out in his fine research on the topic. Admittedly, the term competitor may, at first blush, be presumed to be more relevant to private – for profit sectors than police departments operating in the public sector.

Through my lens however, the terms competitor and competitive advantage are relevant to public sector (policing) entities particularly urban neighborhoods and communities undergoing gentrification or rejuvenation. Either way, city administrators would find it beneficial to explore how public service and public safety cultures’ can materialize to produce valuable and sustainable competitive advantages.

Intangible Asset Valuation…thinking differently!

April 28th, 2015. Published under Intangible Asset Value. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly    April 28, 2015    ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

With a significant level of confidence, most conventional, snap-shots-in-time, and subjective prognostications gleaned from IA (intangible asset) valuations and/or audits, do not provide prospective buyers, sellers, investors, or M&A management teams with the necessary insight reflective of today’s business economic realities and due diligence obligations.

Considering it is an indisputable economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and by extension, favorable outcomes to business transactions are premised on a party’s ability to sustain control, use, ownership, and monitor (IA’s) value, materiality, and risk, each of which will inevitably be in play to impact a transaction’s outcome.

Business transaction valuation and due diligence should provide prospective buyers, sellers, investors, and M&A management teams with objective invest-don’t invest, buy-don’t buy clarity, e.g.

  • IA sustainability, attractivity, demand , and receptivity to convergence.
  • the frequency – intensity which the IA’s in play are targeted by – vulnerable to predatorial data mining, business-competitor intelligence, and economic espionage operations.
  • assets’ proprietary status, competitive advantage components, or trade secrecy status.

The business valuation community argues that expanding the scope of IA valuations and due diligence to include these components exceeds the canons, doctrine, and statutes to which accounting, financial services, and legal are variously obligated to follow, i.e., state and federal accounting rules and regulations which stipulate what, which, and how IA’s are to be valued and reported on balance sheets and financial statements.

In fairness, state and federal accounting rules and regulations stipulate methodologies for calculating the value of IA’s. In many instances, I sense such valuations are unnecessarily narrow and fall short, one way is that IA’s are differentiated largely on whether they have been externally acquired or internally developed, and then consolidated under the single category of goodwill.

I suspect continued adherence to such conventional IA reporting and accounting rules will serve to further stifle – suppress management team’s interest in – motivation to profitably and competitively engage their organization’s IA’s beyond the narrow time-bound confines of goodwill, and

  • explore the relevance of IA’s contributory value and functionality cycles, and IA’s
  • IA’s vulnerability to various risks which, once materialized, will adversely affect – undermine asset’s value, functionality, and competitive advantage life cycle.

Admittedly, as an independent intangible asset strategist and risk specialist I do not feel bound by the exacting and conventional state and federal accounting rules and regulations. This represents a creative sovereignty that permits me to engage in respectful outside-the-box strategizing and asset risk management on behalf of IA clients.

Valuing Intangible Assets By Distinguishing Their Contributory Value

April 27th, 2015. Published under Intangible Asset Value. No Comments.

Michael D.  Moberly    April 27, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

Experience suggests that substantial percentage of IA (intangible asset) valuations conducted for organizations, irrespective of context, do not provide sufficient managerial (buyer, seller, investor) insight, if it does not…

  • fully capture (factor) an organization’s foundational IA’s, i.e., intellectual, structural, relationship, and creativity capital.

Given the increasingly significant role IA’s play in organizations, i.e., 80+% of most company’s value and sources of revenue, etc., lie in – emerge directly from IA’s, I encourage valuations unravel – distinguish organization’s IA’s relative to their individual or collaborative ‘contributory value’, e.g., to a particular project or initiative, a company’s overall mission or its competitive advantages, etc.

With due respect to the valuation community, absent determination and inclusion of assets’ contributory value, conventional (IA) valuations are insufficiently descriptive and too subjective insofar as…

  • inspiring management teams’ to seek-achieve operational familiarity with IA’s.
  • providing insights to IA’s functionality.
  • incorporating IA’s in an organization’s strategic planning.

I’m respectfully confident readers will correct me should I be wrong on this, but there are some five, perhaps more, methodologies for valuing IA’s. Each methodology is variously designed to be context – purpose specific. The product of conventional valuation methodologies frequently deliver only ‘range estimates’ of asset value absent the specificity advocated here.

For horizonal strategists, being provided with a subjective or range of IA valuation data, standing alone, seldom provides sufficient insight to make the most effective business decision. Ultimately, such incomplete IA portraits of organization value leave decision makers holding unnecessary risk and uncertainty with no clear paths for (risk) mitigation.

Are Creative’s Conformist’s?

April 24th, 2015. Published under Analysis and commentary, Design thinking.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly    April 24, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span is important’!

Let’s digress.  For IP, the government or PTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) issues a certificate to the holder-owner that says ‘this is your patent, trademark, or copyright’.  Deservedly and proudly those certificates are frequently displayed in areas which the recipient deems sufficiently prominent as a testament to their creative diligence.

Perhaps most importantly however, the certificate itself positions the holder to utter an affirmative response to the proverbially incessant question ‘what’s your IP position’, implying IP is the preeminent requisite. In this admittedly narrow context, the tangible – physical features of the PTO certificate serves as a creative’s conforming starting point to receive a modicum of affirmation from the likes of television’s ‘shark tank’ panelists.

A notably remarkable aspect to the patent seeking – securing phenomena is that ‘creatives’, by their nature, are seldom considered to be conformists. In fact, a quite strong argument could be made that creatives’ seemingly innate penchant for non-conformity serves as very strong underliers to sustaining their personal diligence toward a specific (strategic) end.

But yet, for the creatives’ who are diligently engaged in an arena in which their work product falls into a potentially patentable field, routinely defer to presumed experienced practitioners of the ‘shark tank’ ilk who unabashedly premise – link their flirtatious counsel to whether one’s work product has received a patent. Today such unrequited deference warrants discussion, don’t you think?

Global Workforce Provocative Implications

February 25th, 2015. Published under Insider Threats, Systemic Risk. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly   February 25, 2015   ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

Provocative implications for safeguarding information assets…

What follows are findings of a study produced by DoD’s Personnel Security Research Center (PERSEREC). The findings of this study titled, ‘Technological, Social, and Economic Trends That Are Increasing U.S. Vulnerabiliy to Insider Espionage’ does retain some relevancy today as it did when it was initially published in May, 2005.

For some, the findings may be contentious, divisive, arrogant…

Admittedly, the study’s findings could be viewed as prognosticative and challenging a rationale for a globally diverse workforce. Having had substantive discussions with the study’s principle investigators, I sensed absolutely no suggestion to support either perspective.

The study produced these largely intangible indicators…

The Internet…

  1. expanded global marketplace for proprietary information assets.
  2. has become an efficient marketplace to bring sellers-seekers-buyers together to exchange information in relative anonymity
  3. elevates awareness about information asset value and recognition it can be sold for a profit.
  4. internationalized science and commerce and places employees in positions to foster – sustain global contacts some of whom interest lie in adversely exploiting such relationship.
  5. permits individuals to retain emotional, ethnic, and financial ties at will to other countries coupled with less inclination to seek U.S. citizenship

Fewer employees are deterred by conventional sense of loyalty…

  1. growing allegiance to a global community that integrates global – national values.
  2. less inclined to view espionage – theft of information assets to be morally wrong.
  3. may view such acts as being justifiable if they feel that sharing them will benefit the world community or prevent armed conflict.
  4. inclination of those engaged in multinational trade/transactions to regard unauthorized transfer of information assets-technology as a business matter rather than an act of betrayal.
  5. tendency to view human society as an evolving system of ethnically and ideologically diverse and interdependent individuals/groups which make illicit acts easier to rationalize.

These findings, in my judgment, prompt many additional questions about the entire spectrum of the ‘insider threat’.  For example, there remains a need to genuinely and objectively assess…

  1. Employee reactions to the elevated intensity and frequency which external entities are targeting (soliciting) their company and their knowledge!
  2. Employee propensity – proclivity to (a.) convey receptivity to external solicitors – buyers of a companies’ information assets, and/or (b.) independently seek prospective buyers.
  3. Also, if such proclivities – propensities exist, do they coincide with or become exacerbated by the conventional precursors – motivators (of insider theft), i.e., disgruntlement, unmet expectations, personal predispositions, financial stress, etc.

Ultimately, the challenges presented by these findings to U.S. companies will, in all likelihood require specialized familiarity and skill sets to effectively address.  This is especially critical given the economic – business reality that today, 80+% of most companies’ value, sources of revenue and ‘building blocks’ for profitability, growth, and sustainability lie in – emerge directly from intangible assets!

As always, reader comments are respected and welcome!