Archive for June, 2016

Information Asset Protection, Thinking Differently

June 27th, 2016. Published under 'Safeguarding Intangible Assets', Intangible asset protection. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly June 27, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

Change and varying levels and/or periods of disruption have become routine characteristics to many of our respective work environments. Similarly, indeterminate repetition of past practice singularly rooted in the notion ‘that’s the way it’s always been done’, absent curiosity or consideration of the structural changes that have occurred in the interim, has, in growing number of instances, wisely give way to nuance.

Of the multiple nuances referenced here, one is that information/data (acquired, developed, transmitted, and received) is likely to achieve – produce the value which it is most capable of delivering if there are structural assurances in place for individuals and/or business units, etc., which have the ability to use-apply that information effectively actually get it. More succinctly perhaps, a fundamental shift occurs, away from the pretentiously broad (simple) construct of ‘knowledge is power’ to a more nuanced construct of sharing the right information-knowledge with the right people is power’!

Of course doing so, puts organizations – companies on a prelude to a (necessary) ‘revolution’ of sorts, in terms of how their proprietary information is safeguarded and ultimately disseminated – shared. The rationale for doing so emanates from the greater need today wherein there is emphasis on…
• the speed of knowing, and
• the speed which effective action can be taken – applied, as a product of knowing.
• better projections of individuals and/or (business) units that need to know.
• recognizing what information individuals-units are not getting, but should.

For me and others working in the IA (intangible asset) arena, this collectively translates as a new paradigm for safeguarding proprietary information during its acquisition, development, analysis, and sharing. Among other things, this entails…
• recognizing the challenges and adversaries.
• knowing what specific information should – needs to be safeguarded.
• reduce, if not eliminate the conventional informational silos frequently erected around dated presumptions
of ‘need to know’, as if ‘secrecy’ was somehow innate.

Please consider how many companies/organizations function-operate as if their information assets are classified or a national secret? Organizations are now obliged to position their intake, development, and analysis of information to ensure it is disseminated – shared with individuals – business units that can process – utilize the information most effectively.

In other words, companies-organizations are obliged to move away from…
the conventional ‘who needs to know’ to operating cultures in which knowledge leads to better performance, merely by recognizing…
• who doesn’t know, and
• who isn’t being informed.
Specifically, endeavor to create an organization-wide community of situational awareness and application of intellectual, structural, relationship, and creative capital.

In other words, retired General Stanley McChrystal believes that government-defense entities, and by extension, companies and organizations, should be more concerned with essential strategic information that is…
• routinely being ‘locked away’ from legitimate users, based on an antiquated system of classifying
• than with individuals who may leak proprietary information.

Be assured, either can be damaging to an organization’s ability to achieve…but, given the vast amounts/levels of information that are regularly produced, i.e., ‘big data,, etc., arguably, organizations are rapidly approaching the point that sharing information and ensuring the right individuals-business units are provided information in a timely manner and accepting, even assuming some or all of the information may-will be leaked, infringed upon, and/or otherwise stolen-acquired by economic – competitive adversaries is a preferred position to keeping vital business information out of individual – business domains that could use it best.

This makes many conventional (business) instincts – practices of information asset protection, classification, and dissemination simply wrong-headed. Similarly, organization’s that (still) consider the influx of new strategies, new processes, and new techniques, i.e., structural, relationship, intellectual, and competitive capital as constituting non-collaborative and non-contributory tangible, (not intangible) assets will find business success elusive in today’s irreversible go fast, go hard, go global business environment. Instead, structural, relationship, intellectual, and competitive capital are integrated – collaborative categories of IA’s that warrant dissemination-sharing and action.

This post was influenced by a TED Talk given by Gen. Stanley McChrystal in March, 2014 and adapted for application to the private sector by Michael D. Moberly.