Archive for 'Managing intangible assets'
July 25th, 2016. Published under Intangibles as strategic assets, Managing intangible assets, Organizational resilience and business continuity/conti. No Comments.
Michael D. Moberly July 25, 2016 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’!
The word ‘multiplier’, as I have observed its application, has been primarily in military – combat contexts as force multipliers. Observation and strike capable drones for example, are force multipliers because of the operational – observational advantages they provide to various military units needing real time intelligence and possibly offensive action.
However, on the business side, as an IA (intangible asset) strategist and risk specialist, I consider a company’s IA’s as representing a distinctive form/context of business multipliers. Throughout the private sector, IA’s, originate in – arise from valuable intellectual, structural, relationship, and competitive capital or, IA’s.
Preferably, business c-suites and their management teams recognize how IA’s translate, convert, or monetize as competitive tactics, processes, and/or commodities to (collectively – collaboratively) ‘multiply’ – contribute to the effectiveness, efficiency, output, revenue, and/or value of a particular operating group, project, or process.
Either way, when IA’s are acknowledged and effectively integrated in a particular initiative, project, or even organization-wide, they can, and frequently do, favorably impact efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity, which translates as value, sources of revenue, and competitiveness, that otherwise may not have been acknowledged. That’s particularly evident in business environments in which there is little or no receptivity to IA’s either in terms of their usefulness, accounting, internal development, external acquisition, or maturation – conversion often due to a misperception that doing so would disrupt the status quo or create new risk.
IA-based multipliers, also refer to attributes or combinations of competitive inputs which again, often manifest most favorably when collectively-collaboratively drawn from existing intellectual, structural, relationship, and competitive capital. A general example where this has occurred is the package delivery sector as most firms recognized the obvious efficiencies which could accrue by integrating – coordinating both GPS (global positioning) and RFID (radio frequency identification) technologies which converted to growth in value, competitive advantage, and revenue generation capability. Standing alone, both GPS and RFID are tangible-physical assets (technologies), but the intellectual, relationship, structural, and competitive capital which together recognized – linked their application to the global package delivery sector should not be dismissed.
In this instance, GPS and RFID deliverables largely manifest as contributory and competitive IA’s that facilitate-enable the package delivery sector to receive, process, sort, and deliver substantially more orders and packages more efficiently compared to competitors that have yet to incorporate those multipliers.
For those operationally familiar with IA’s, i.e., their origins, development, and integration, in most instances, can (and should) also be leveraged – exploited as, among other things, value proposition multipliers, which in turn, confer credibility and rationale to capital outlays to pursue, purchase, and integrate the multipliers, ala GPS and RFID systems, while recognizing the various IA’s such multipliers produce and strengthen.
So, as more operational clarity is brought to IA’s contributory role and value as multipliers, organization c-suites, boards, and management teams will recognize – materialize as…
• expansions of operational prerogatives and boundaries that correlate with IA development, utilization, and
• decision – transaction outcomes becoming more predictable and lucrative whenever, however, and wherever,
IA’s are in play.
• the necessity for OR (organizational resilience) planning to facilitate quicker and more complete economic-
competitive advantage recovery following a significant business disruption or materialization of reputation
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.
Michael D. Moberly January 12, 2016 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’.
Since I began researching, publishing, conducting seminars, and consulting…20+ years ago on various aspects of IA’s (intangible assets), I have encountered many management team members who, on the surface at least, express satisfaction in assuming their organization still functions nicely thank you on practices rooted in the pre-IA era.
I suspect in many instances, what practitioners are exhibiting is a reluctance to engage their IA’s due, I have learned, to a application unfamiliarity which in turn triggers concerns that doing so…
- may exceed their current experiential comfort.
- would be too disruptive (time consuming, costly) to current organizational operating culture.
- can deliver/produce returns unfamiliar to conventional conversion.
- is conventionally thought to be ineffectual because IA’s are seldom, if ever, reported on balance sheets or financial statements.
Unfortunately, company – organization leadership who sustain such dismissive indifference to (uncurious about) their IA’s will seldom, if ever, be positioned to capture and exploit their value, sources of revenue, and/or competitive advantages which frequently I find is ‘readily available for the asking’ in their existing operating culture. Fortunately, I find only the most intractable few management team members will sustain such dismissive positions following my respectful and clarifying discussion. Or perhaps, they learn a competitor’s market advances are attributable to recognizing and engaging their IA’s!
Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, email@example.com
Michael D. Moberly January 5, 2016 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’.
I am an advocate, avid listener, and sustaining member-supporter of the NPR (National Public Radio) station in my city. This admission aside, it’s quite correct, in my judgment, to characterize NPR, and its comparables and collaboratives, i.e., American Public Media, Public Radio International, and Public Radio Exchange, etc., as IA (intangible asset) intensive and dependent organizations.
Readers are respectfully obliged to acknowledge that IA (intangible asset) intensity and dependence are not the exclusive domain of private sector, Fortune-ranked corporations, ala Silicon Valley research based startups. Instead, companies, organizations, and their management teams who wish to capture and exploit their IA intensity-dependency should recognize it emanates from the convergence of intellectual, structural, relationship, trust, reputation, and creative capital relative to organization culture and mission variants, to create – enhance value, for example…
- IA intensive…translates as a high percentage (80+%) of public radio station’s value and impact to its communities of listeners and contributors lie in – evolve directly from the formatting and delivery of its IA’s.
- IA dependent…means that public radio’s daily array of attractive-desirable programming is reliant on a…
- consistent influx and integration of intellectual, structural, competitive, and relationship capital, ala IA’s…
- that collectively and collaboratively attract and sustain broad communities of (national, international) listeners, a percentage of which…
- convert to enhancing and sustaining communities of listeners, memberships, contributions, sponsorships, and corporate-foundation underwriters.
- consistent influx and integration of intellectual, structural, competitive, and relationship capital, ala IA’s…
Public radio seems to enjoy the benefits of a continuous and evolving supply of ‘people assets’ who can seamlessly and collaboratively deliver forward looking – thinking variants of their intellectual, structural, and creative capital which inevitably meld into communities of listeners’ ears via expanding platforms. It is for these reasons that I am confident public radio station’s value, when factored through an IA lens, would lie consistently north of the 80+% figure referenced above.
Client organizations and/or seminar attendees of mine who achieve familiarity with and interest in IA’s, frequently ask me to identify which IA’s their organization – company intensity and dependency are most reliant. The answers to these questions are best addressed through an ‘IA mapping’ exercise I developed which identifies paths-routes that describe when, where, and how IA value and competitive advantage originate, develop, attach, collaborate, and ultimately flow.
I generally endeavor to dissuade organizations and their management teams from using some of the more conventional methodologies that are dismissive of intangibles or merely provide a ‘snap shot in time’ (portrait) of IA’s contributory – collaborative role and status absent recognition of value. The ‘IA mapping’ methodology, which I continually endeavor to refine, acknowledges that the contributory and collaborative aspects underlying IA value, competitive advantage, and materiality is seldom static, rather evolves to accommodate any shifts to an organization’s mission, technology delivery formats, or other issues of the day, etc.
Public radio’s IA asset intensity and dependency also correlates to trust and relationship capital and reputation. Sustaining and banking each category/type of IA with communities of listeners, supporters, and underwriters warrant consistent stewardship particularly in markets where other media-journalistic outlets compete.
Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael D. Moberly January 4, 2016 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’.
If it can’t be measured, perhaps, just perhaps, it can’t be managed either! An adage which I have taken some liberties is widely attributed to Peter Drucker. In my view, it carries more relevance today than when it was initially uttered. My rationale for saying this is rooted in the economic fact that increasing percentages, 80+%, of company/organization value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, sustainability and growth lie in – evolve directly from IA’s (intangible assets).
Rooted in my experiences as an IA strategist and risk specialist, I believe most all IA’s evolve from company-organization mission and culture variations of intellectual, relationship, and structural capital. Optimally, these assets meld together to serve as foundations for, among other things, sustaining and enhancing company-organization value, brand, reputation, goodwill, competitiveness, growth, profitability, and specialized know how, etc. Simply put, there are few other occasions in company – organization governance history when measuring the performance of and managing (inventorying) the contributory – collaborative role, value, and materiality of IA’s has become more necessary, i.e., akin to fiduciary responsibilities (ala Stone v. Ritter).
Materiality in this context translates as monitoring – assessing each asset’s role and contributory value throughout its respective ‘life – value cycle’, i.e., contribution to a particular project, process, and/or initiative.
The benefits – returns for IA inventories, among other things, is ensuring decision makers are consistently positioned to recognize, in a timely manner…
- any changes in assets contributory value-materiality including obsolescence.
- opportunities to sell, barter, safeguard, mitigate risk, seek collaborations, or discard non-contributing IA’s.
But, an inventory of a company’s – organization’s IA’s must be much more than a mere snap-shot-in-time reference point. Instead, it’s economically – competitively prudent to seamlessly integrate IA inventories as routine fixtures to company – organization sustainability. Absent that, IA value and materiality is known to fluctuate prompted at least in part by competitive advantage erosion or undermining through (asset) obsolescence and/or product-process misappropriation or infringement.
When these and other comparably adverse events/acts occur, IA’s value and ability to sustain its value, competitive advantages, and profitability, etc., can be significantly impaired along with their contributory value becoming irreversibly undermined or stifled.
Therefore, having the capability to consistently monitor and measure (inventory) key IA’s at will, positions companies and their management teams to be more responsive to meeting their expanding fiduciary responsibilities, i.e.,
- the inevitable challenges, disputes, and external targeting that routinely occurs.
- allocating – directing asset safeguard-risk resources more efficiently and effectively commensurate with an assets’ life and contributory value cycle.
Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014. email@example.com
Michael D. Moberly December 22, 2015 Where attention span really matters’ IA’s (intangible assets) have obviously become irreversibly permanent fixtures – components to most organization’s economics, i.e., their primary sources of value, revenue, and competitive advantage, etc.
And, interestingly, global (business) economies still remain in the earliest of stages, relatively speaking, of the underlying knowledge (IA) era. Through my lens anyway, as an IA strategist and risk specialist, this leaves organizations and their management teams fully obliged to push most conventional (tangible asset) thinking, strategy, and practice about where, when, and how their value, competitiveness, and revenue originate and/or evolve aside and genuinely engage – undertake initiatives intended to achieve the important and necessary eureka moment of ‘I get it’!
However, most organizations and their management teams, frequently gravitate to distinguishable ‘operating cultures’, i.e., the quantitative (tangible) vs. the qualitative (intangible). At that, it would indeed be a misinterpretation and miscalculation should any reader assume the intellectual and structural preparations for engaging an organization’s IA’s to be too disruptive to its culture and/or exceed managerial comfort zones to continue.
On the other hand this may prompt some organization management teams to ask; what type-level of thinking is necessary to effectively cross the chasm from the tangible to the intangible? Perhaps the appropriate response to that question lies in the professional irresponsibility to assume that chasm of IA thinking can be squeezed into bumper sticker ‘sloganisms’ to indulge a presumptively narrow attention span.
There is indeed a thought leader responsibility to assume that matters related to their organization’s IA’s, warrant articulate clarity to think – act differently about when, where, how, and the circumstances which organizational value, competitive advantage, and revenue originate, develop, and convert. An intent of course is to present organizational leadership with relevant and respectful insight and perspective for…
- recognizing how IA’s individually, collectively, and collaboratively contribute to value, competitiveness, and when addressed effectively favorably impact an organization’s community.
- drawing attention to the various ways value – competitive advantage attaches and contributes.
Michael D. Moberly August 19, 2015 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’.
Readers, there is absolutely no dispute to the globally universal economic fact that today 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, profitability, competitiveness, and sustainability lie in – directly evolve from intangible assets! So isn’t it quickly approaching the state of being a no-brainer to acquire an operational familiarity with an organization’s intangible assets, because, by doing so, better business decisions are all but sure to follow!
It’s just entirely insufficient now for management teams to (a.) merely know what intangible assets are or which one’s their company – employees have developed, (b.) utilize, or perhaps worse, (c.) succumb to conventional accountancy path of lumping all internally developed intangibles together (indistinguishably) as goodwill.
It’s now essential, if not a fiduciary responsibility to:
- sustain control, use, and ownership of IA’s.
- know precisely how the IA’s contribute to a company’s value and create sources of revenue.
- understand how to utilize, leverage, and position the assets to extract as much value and competitive advantage as possible.
- exercise effective stewardship, oversight, and management of the IA’s and consistently monitor their materiality and contributory value.
By achieving this level of operational and financial familiarity with IA’s, numerous enterprise wide multipliers can follow, for example
1. Add predictability to business transactions when intangible assets and IP are in play by being able to assess the stability, fragility, defensibility, and sustainability of the assets through an IA focused due diligence.
2. Elevate probabilities that projected returns will be achieved, competitive advantages will be sustained or enhanced, asset synergies and efficiencies will develop, and transaction exit strategies affirmed
3. Achieve effective convergence of IA accounting, reporting, and valuation by recognizing their linkages to:
- knowledge management initiatives.
- IP development and safeguards.
- the balanced scorecard.
4. Reduce probability of costly, time consuming, and momentum stifling legal challenges and disputes regarding IA’s by foreseeing circumstances that can ensnare and/or entangle IA’s that will impede a transaction, or erode or undermine its projected synergies, value, competitive advantages, or overall performance.
5. Build an IA focused organizational culture that contributes to
- recognizing, producing, and sustaining control, use, ownership, and value of IA’s.
- elevating organizational awareness to accelerate the pursuit of adverse IA issues, i.e., ownership, value, infringement, misappropriation, theft, etc.
6. Develop a comprehensive OR (organizational resilience – continuity-contingency) plan that encompasses an organization’s key ‘contributory value’ IA’s that will facilitate quicker and more complete recovery following a significant business disruption.
Michael D. Moberly July 20, 2015 A blog where attention span really matter!
To no one’s surprise, the endless stream of opinions regarding the agreement reached last week to restrict (mitigate) Iran’s nuclear arms potential fit very well, at least initially, on a straight continuum with three markers, i.e., yea, in principle, and nay.
I suspect for many global citizens, their opinion of the agreement are not exclusively about whether they believe it is good or bad, rather, it’s about how large and how probable they sense the threat (posed by a nuclearized Iran) actually is. That ‘sense’ is a very personalized IA (intangible asset). Respectfully, the presence, absence, and strength of such personalized intangibles may likely be influenced by a citizen’s proximity to Tehran.
The inevitable suspected violations and the way the agreement has been structured will surely influence more to publicly assess the agreement, i.e., good or bad, probably on a daily – weekly basis versus strategic points of agreement’s 10-15 year life cycle.
The agreement is necessarily complex with many moving parts that must be in sync attitudinally, behaviorally, and definitionally. Professor Stephen Carter, Yale University School of Law suggests, (a.) the number and complexity of those moving parts can be likened to a Rubic’s Cube, or (b.) akin to a Rube Goldberg machine, i.e., a contraption that is deliberately over-engineered or overdone to perform a very simple task in a very complicated fashion.
Too, with that level of complexity, my hope is that when there are challenges, they will not be so large or politicized to undermine or cause the entire agreement to collapse. This is something every business decision maker who has engaged in a merger, acquisition, new product-service launch, buy-sell agreement, or strategic alliance understands well, i.e., how opponents to a deal will interpret suspicions – infractions as being individually or collectively significant to warrant it’s termination.
Professor Carter also suggests when one party to an agreement assumes the other party will attempt to cheat in some manner and at some point, this prompts other questions, but not solely whether the deal was good or bad, rather, were the interim (intangible) gains, i.e., psychological, attitudinal, emotional, etc., derived from an imperfect agreement sufficient insofar as mitigating or delaying what may have been otherwise inevitable. Of course, I am not talking about nuclear Armageddon.
In other words, Carter asks, were those potential (intangible) gains from having an agreement in place for a period of time, greater than the costs of not ever negotiating or producing an agreement in the first place?
Should most aspects of the agreement be adhered to by the parties, Professor Carter suggests that when one looks back on any agreement, be it business, trade, or nuclear, from the time of its signing to its potential termination, the global citizens represented by the negotiating parties were likely happier and felt safer than if the agreement had not been executed. Again, some powerful intangible assets at play here!
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…
- 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.
- faux strategic planning which is more akin to near term – quarterly-based projections that preclude discussions regarding IA utilization or monetization…
- 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.
- 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.
- intangible assets absence of physicality, i.e., having no tangible or conventional physical presence.
- 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!
Michael D. Moberly January 13, 2015 ‘A blog where attention span really matters”!
I had the pleasure to communicate/converse with Dr. Tatiana Garanina of St. Petersburg University recently to discuss her research titled ‘Value Creation in Russian Companies: The Role of Intangible Assets’. What follows is a collaborative summary of that discussion.
Dr. Garnina’s research revealed that…
- as much as one third of all investment solutions occurring in Russia are related to a company’s (existing) intangible assets.
- business decisions-transactions allow management teams to make more accurate income and profitability projections including shareholder value.
- management teams of leading (Russian) companies are more apt to acknowledge and understand that the key sources of their company’s value creation are irreversibly rooted in intangible assets.
- Dr. Garnina distinguishes intangibles in Russian companies on the basis of their composition and structure which hrough her and co-researchers’ analysis of 43 (sampled) companies, intangibles were distinguished intangibles in five aggregated fields, i.e.,
- mechanical engineering
- extractive industry
- power engineering
- communication services, and
- metallurgy.Drs. Garanina and her co-researcher Dr. Volkov also found that leading (Russian) companies are endeavoring manufacturing cost reductions, hence value creation, which translates as reductions in the value of their tangible/physical assets. Doing so advances another trend, which producing more intangible assets, i.e., intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, proprietary know-how and creativity.Some rovocative perspectives, offered by Drs. Garanina and Volkov offered are
- Dr. Garanina astutely points out a key challenge for (Russian) management teams today creating conditions that will lead increasing the value of (their) intangible assets and therefore the value of their entire company, something which has global relevance far beyond the Russian border.
- Admittedly, value creation through intangible assets represent a new component for business development in Russia but has yet to witness significant successes, particularly for companies still expressing reliance on conventional tangible (physical) assets. The leadership of these firms were less able to cope with the globally competitive markets.
- related to the composition and structure of intangible assets, particularly intellectual capital. In many other research papers I have read, researchers describe the structure and/or composition of intangible assets and then try to define the primary component that (most) affects the assets’ ‘contributory’ value. Drs. Garanina and Volkov claim there is no known uniformity, i.e., means, mechanisms, etc., to address this aspect in Russian business as yet.
- their views on (intangible asset) market capitalization value over periods of time. Even though, a number of theoretical works have stressed the strategic importance, as well as the role of intangibles as key value drivers for company’s competitiveness (Edvinsson, Malone, 1997; Sullivan, 2000; Wenner, LeBer, 1989); there remain, the authors believe, an absence of approaches to evaluate those mechanisms in terms of how intangible assets actual contributory value to a company. (Carlucci, Schiuma, 2007).
An obvious result, Garanina concludes is that more studies are needed in order to better understand…
- the relationship between intangible assets,
- the way these assets are clustered, and
- their contributory role in value creation
As always, reader comments are welcome and respected, and please read and submit a review of Mike’s newest book ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ http://safeguarding-intangibles.com/