Archive for May, 2017

Intangibles, Messaging By Marketing Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt?

May 30th, 2017. Published under Design thinking., Enterprise risk management.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly May 30, 2017 ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’.

FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) are intangibles, or, in some instances, liabilities, depending on the context (motive, intent) how each ‘factor’ is conveyed, i.e., dramatized or embellished to influence a particular (emotive) action, reaction from/by whomever-whatever is being targeted and assumed to be receptive to ‘FUD messaging’.

I believe it’s important to recognize that, when individuals’ rise to hold leadership – oversight positions which include platforms-venues which can be exploitatively used to practice ‘FUD messaging’, prudence and caution should be exercised.

On numerous occasions I have experienced marketing practitioners who, quite literally espouse the view that it is necessary to sew elements of FUD into every product – service marketing strategy. In these instances, it is assumed the presence of FUD are stimulants for human (buy, don’t buy) action. I sense persistent purveyors-proselytizers of FUD, as a marketing tactic-strategy, are variously inclined to sacrifice (minimize) facts, reason, and reality which may counter the ‘FUD factors’ which they are espousing. I want to believe prospective clients, and consumers in general, are not mere pawns to perceptions of exploitative FUD as the dominant driving stimuli to their decisions-actions.

One can routinely observe the principles of FUD at work, or carefully contrived variations, exploitatively and jointly woven into arrays of products – services characterized as mitigating and/or remediating a particular risk. In these circumstances, elements-factors of FUD are integrated (exploited) as the primary underlier to a marketing (buy in) strategy to appeal to targeted populations of prospective buyer’s – client’s circumstances, needs, aspirations, or frustrations with the status quo.

Some attribute – believe humans are receptive to characterizations of fear, uncertainty, and doubt because they…

• are grammatically and visually easy to convey and assume can-will

• can influence those receptive, to assume the product-service being marketed is a quick and simple (single) fix, e.g., if x is purchased and deployed, a specific (set, range of) risks, problems, and/or frustrations, at least how they are perceived, will be substantially reduced, if not go away altogether.

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…