Archive for April, 2016

Business Transactions Go Fast, Go Hard, Go Global With Intangible Assets

April 26th, 2016. Published under Business Transactions, CFO's. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 26, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’.

In no other arena of economic and social relations has the statement “knowledge is power” (Sir Francis Bacon) proven more relevant than in today’s global business economies wherein operations and transactions are increasingly rooted in the creation, utilization, and conversion of IA’s (intangible assets), particularly intellectual, structural, relationship, and creative capital…

To consistently and lucratively exploit their IA’s, holder’s must be positioned to sustain indeterminate control, use, ownership, and monitor their value, materiality, and risk.

Collectively, this makes IA’s relevant to each practice area-specialization of law.

Achieving operational familiarity with client businesses which are IA intensive-dependent is an unqualified entrée for professional service (law) firms to expand offerings to reflect the economic reality that business activities-transactions are now routinely dominated by and contingent on continuity of development, utilization, exploitation, and safeguarding their IA’s!

Many businesses-organizations remain in the early stages of the knowledge (IA) era, even though IA’s have become permanent fixtures-components to business economics as sources of value, revenue, and competitive advantage, etc.

Achieving operational familiarity with IA’s, is an outcome of this seminar which sets the stage for each (law firm) practice area – specialization to become a collaborative, competitive, and sought after leader whenever and however IA’s are in play.

Intangible Assets, Rationale Meets Reality

April 12th, 2016. Published under Intangible Asset Value, Intangibles as strategic assets, Managing intangible assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 12, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

It is an economic fact that the primary sources of company value, revenue, and competitiveness, etc., began noticeably shifting in the mid-to-late 1990’s.…
• from tangible (physical) assets, e.g., property, equipment, inventory, etc.,
• to intangible (non-physical) assets, e.g., reputation, brand, and goodwill        particularly.

This recognition coincided with the descriptive transformational expression ‘knowledge-based economies’ wherein learned economists calculated 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantage, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, profitability, and sustainability now lie in – evolve directly from organizations intellectual, relationship, structural, and competitive capital as well as other forms – manifestations of IA’s

My work is a culmination of 25+ years of professional consulting, university teaching, continuous research, public speaking, and publishing on matters variously related to IA’s and their intellectual property cousin. My consulting engagements, media appearances, and research in the IA arena have largely focused on…
• identifying, assessing, safeguarding, and mitigating risk.
• conducting transaction due diligence when IA’s are in play, which they consistently are, and
• facilitating company cultures prudently linked to operational familiarity with IA’s contributory role and value.

The centerpieces of my work, writing, and consulting today lie in IA advocacy, i.e.,
• value-revenue-competitive advantage capabilities of IA’s.
• identifying, unraveling, and assessing IA’s contributory and collaborative value roles for companies.
• recognizing IA’s life, value, and functionality life cycle.
• aligning IA risk assessments with transaction due diligence.

Today, profitable business operations and transactions are increasingly dependent on management team’s ability to effectively and consistently foster, harness, utilize, and convert its IA’s into relevant forms of value, revenue, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

But, knowhow, i.e., intellectual, structural, relationship, and competitive capital (IA’s) can deliver economic and competitive advantages only if/when the developer-holder of those assets can sustain their control, use, and ownership, and monitor their value and materiality throughout their respective value – functionality cycle.



Vietnam War Veterans…Intangible Expectations Returning Home

April 8th, 2016. Published under Analysis and commentary, Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 8, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

First, an analogy for reader consideration…your brother, sister, son, or daughter just returned from a successful – injury free expedition that culminated in reaching the summit of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. It’s likely many trepidations were expressed in advance of the expedition, by loved ones and others citing their perspectives of the associated risks and dangers. Upon the mountaineers’ safe and scheduled return home 3-4 weeks later, they could anticipate friends and loved ones who opted not to participate in the expedition will seek their presence to ask many questions on a range of minutia, e.g., the mountaineer’s preparation, the climb itself, and their thoughts upon reaching the summit that expound upon their consistent social media interactions with ‘friends’ throughout.

For the mountaineer, the barrage of questions would likely be conveyed with genuine eagerness and their responses replete with descriptive (mountaineering) terms which for most, there would be a commonality of interpretation and perhaps relatable personal experience to draw upon for clarity.

For many Vietnam War combat soldiers returning home to physical safety…perhaps understandably, held expectations there would be comparable displays of interest, or more correctly stated, what one perceived our fathers experienced returning home from WWII. I have learned, not surprisingly, some returning (Vietnam War) combat veterans held expectations their homecoming may include a celebratory tone embedded with a genuinely conveyed interest in what they had experienced, endured, and ultimately survived to talk about following a 52-week deployment with a personal departure date replete with ifs, ands, and buts.

If-when genuine inquiries did manifest for returning Vietnam War combat soldiers…the dialogue-narrative would likely be cautious initially interspersed with varying levels of soberness, solemnness, and unease. Just as frequently though, inquires could assume a presumptive tone, after all, the Vietnam War is frequently characterized as the U.S.’s first ‘televised war’, so many individuals elected to engage conversations with perspectives already formed – framed from 90 second snippets on evening news broadcasts, which at the time, there cable 24/7 news options.

A combat veteran’s response to any inquiry would likely be peppered with the distinctive vernacular of the Vietnam War and combat, i.e., descriptive words and language which at first blush may appear to be crude, callous, and perhaps insensitive to the circumstances they recently left, aside from the camaraderie within their unit. For a questioner – listener such descriptive language may be met with little commonality of interpretation or understanding wherein they would sense sufficient comfort to engage in follow-up questions or conversation to seek understanding and clarification.

Comparing the mountaineer to the Vietnam combat veteran is analogous…for the former, it would have been highly imprudent to put themselves and others at potentially grave risk to commence such an expedition absent substantial physical conditioning and mountaineering experience relevant to climbing the world’s highest mountain. Whereas, for the latter, the U.S. military presumed its infantry – combat arms trainees would learn quickly upon arrival in Vietnam, irrespective of having no direct combat experience. So, in a relatively brief period of time, 16 weeks, infantry trainees were presumed to acquire an ability to physically and emotionally transition (i.e., adjust, assimilate, etc.) to the inhospitable environs of war and combat in Vietnam.

Adding to some soldiers’ anxiety and wonderment about entering a theater of war, something which was rather routinely witnessed was that for a not insignificant percentage of replacements, the shuttle service from the U.S. to Vietnam was their first ever ‘plane ride’.

Admittedly, Vietnam War combat soldiers did not have the benefit or curse of real time, at will social media and photographic communication in which recipients could interpret as they wished, be it revisionistic to that seen on conventional broadcast news.

Intangible Asset Inventory – Valuation

April 8th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset strategy, Intangible asset valuation., Intangibles as strategic assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 7, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

“If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed”, an adage widely attributed to Peter Drucker, that, in my view, carries a different kind of relevance today than when it was initially uttered. That’s because, it is an economic fact that, 80+% of most company’s – organization’s value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, growth, and sustainability derive from IA’s. That’s one thing the naysayers and the cynics of IA’s cannot refute. Whereas, when Drucker uttered this still very substantive phrase, the economies were hardly global, and the assets used to produce goods and services were overwhelmingly tangible, with little interest paid to IA’s.

Still, there are various types of professional services, accounting being one, which are driven by statutes, standards, and guidelines where there is little tolerance – leeway for all things intangible, therefore…

• question the objectivity – validity of IA valuations.
• object to broadening – expanding what constitute IA’s.
• remain firmly committed to conventional asset valuation practices.

Still, prudent and forward looking-thinking management teams and business decisions makers would be hard pressed to describe another time in company/organization governance history when achieving operational familiarity with and measuring and managing the value of knowledge-based assets, the intangible’s, is more necessary.

By identifying a company’s key IA’s, and consistently monitoring – assessing their value and risk, company/organization management teams can be positioned to recognize, in a timely manner…
– erosion – undermining of asset value and competitive advantages through
misappropriation, infringement, counterfeiting, and mismanagement.
– changes in asset materiality and/or asset obsolescence.

When undertaking an IA valuation, it must encompass much more than being a mere snap-shot-in-time. That’s not to imply IA valuations are resource – labor intensive processes. Instead, prudent management teams are obliged to have continual asset assessment-valuation procedures and processes in place, commencing with very keen sensitivity-awareness to an array of internal and/or marketspace circumstances that can influence asset value, competitiveness, and the emergence of risk, which should it materialize, will affect assets’ stability, defensibility, and fragility. Anyone of which, if ignored/neglected can be a prelude to an organization’s IA’s contributory value being undermined, stifled, or worse, irreversibly going to zero!

Consistent monitoring and measuring the contributory/collaborative role and value of key IA deliverables, permits companies, strategic planners, and management teams to be more responsive to…

– utilizing – exploiting their IA’s.
– meeting the ever expanding fiduciary responsibilities associated with IA’s.
– strengthening, managing, sustaining IA value and competitiveness.
– allocating – directing asset safeguard resources more efficiently and
effectively commensurate with an assets’ life, contributory value, and
functionality cycle.
– addressing the inevitable challenges, disputes, and external targeting
engaged in by competitive adversaries.