Archive for 'Intangible asset strategy'

Deploying Risk Mitigators For Intangible Assets

February 20th, 2017. Published under Due Diligence and Risk Assessments, Enterprise risk management., Sustainability of intangible assets.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly February 20, 2017 ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’!

Deploying IA-specific ‘risk mitigators’, at the right time, to the right set of assets, and in the right manner can deliver obvious benefits, i.e., counter, prevent, and/or mitigate risk. Those are the obvious and desired outcomes. But, also, when company leadership and (risk) management teams recognize IA-specific risk mitigators are applicable-relevant to most any circumstance where valuable – revenue generating – competitive advantage producing IA’s are being developed and/or already in play, their contributory value rises accordingly.

For most business circumstances, the presence of and the potential for significant (IA specific) risk to materialize and variously jeopardize an IA-dominant undertaking or transaction is real and persistent. The initial management team action, in my judgment, preferably undertaken in advance, should be to do what is necessary to try to mitigate or prevent those risks from materializing – elevating to the point they can adversely (irreversibly) affect an outcome.

Effectively mitigating-preventing risks directed to undertakings dominated by IA’s or myriad of other business transaction circumstances, for that matter, lie in recognizing that putting risk mitigators in place, at the right time, focused on the right set of assets, i.e., those in play, and in the right manner, can deliver obvious and necessary benefits. The benefits are two-pronged, i.e., (1,) to thwart, counter, and mitigate risk, and (2.) measurably contribute to more valuable and competitive (desired) outcomes.

Those business leaders and management teams who assume risks to a IA’s can be adequately dealt with via the purchase of conventional business insurance (riders), without deploying risk mitigators, I suggest, have misread – misunderstood the current risk environment. That is, the ‘keystroke speed’ and asset-specific targeting capabilities of ultra-sophisticated and predatorial global economic and competitive advantage adversaries with advanced data mining technologies, have indeed become the norm, certainly not an anecdotal (one off) exception.

The effective and timely deployment of IA-specific risk mitigators (at the right time, right place, and right way) are businesses’ prelude to – segue for ensuring the IA’s in play remain as fully intact as possible in terms of their capability to continue to generate value, produce sources of revenue, and underlie competitive advantages.

The primary objectives to deploying IA-specific risk mitigators are to affect the assets’, and their holders’ receptivity – vulnerability to compromise and/or undermining throughout the contributory value – materiality cycle of the assets. This is best achieved when there are coordinated processes – actions in place to recognize, monitor, sustain, and acknowledge…

• asset’s exposure to costly and momentum stifling (risk) acts-events.
• IA’s contributory role and value will favorably distinguish companies
within their sector.
• necessary levels of control, use, ownership, value, equity, and resilience
for the IA’s.
• deployment of IA-specific risk mitigators are not mere operational
electives that can be dropped, dismissed, or delayed indefinitely.

As consistently conveyed since the ‘Business IP and Intangible Asset Blog’ published its initial post in May, 2006, whenever, however, and wherever valuable, revenue generating, and competitive advantage IA’s are in play, company-business leadership and management teams are obliged to consider there will be various types, levels, and motives for (IA-specific) risks to materialize.

The acts of, assessing and monitoring IA-specific risks and identifying effective techniques – strategies to prevent, mitigate, or neutralize, does not require leaders to reach beyond-outside their professional domains of expertise in order to take the necessary action.

Perhaps the most important-relevant component to IA-specific risk mitigation is to…

avoid making purely arbitrary-subjective assumptions about
circumstances when, where, how, and why particular IA’s are
in play and their vulnerability to risk, e.g., fragility,
stability, defensibility, and liquidity if-when compromised.

A common denominator to most all IA-specific risk (and, management) is the persistent presence of (global) economic and competitive advantage (legacy free) adversaries, ultra-sophisticated data mining technologies and methodologies, anyone-of-which by their actions and capabilities, impose consistent risk.

Intangible Assets Integral to Transaction Negotiation Strategy

February 14th, 2017. Published under Business Transactions, Intangible asset strategy, Transaction negotiations and intangible assets.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly February 14, 2017 A business blog where attention span really matters!

Management teams’ who commence negotiating a business transaction based on a strategy which has been framed predominantly, if not solely, on the content of a (conventional) balance sheet and/or financial statement, which as noted here, are variously dismissive of – omit acknowledging contributory role, value, and competitive advantages produced by IA’s (intangible assets) will lead (unnecessarily) to impasses and/or ‘walk-aways’. Both rise in probability when either party enters a negotiation absent benefits of being operationally familiar with the IA’s that will inevitably be in play!

True, IA’s are seldom, if ever reported (accounted for) in conventional financial statements, balance sheets, or valuations. Such omissions (under or non-reporting of IA’s) are tolerated because accountants, auditors, valuators, tax, and legal sectors are obliged to interpret – report IA’s in accordance with the various standards-statutes set forth by relevant state-federal regulatory-oversight bodies, academic disciplines, and professional association certification. Operationally, these obligations, given their origins in statutes and standards, translate as predispositions to conceive- apply IA’s in quite narrow contexts, and perhaps worse, are likely to be characterized as mere conglomerations of undifferentiated goodwill. Please note, for the record, ‘goodwill’ is but one (single) type or category of IA.

Of course, those perspectives about IA’s stand apart from the broader – more expansive context for addressing – executing on IA’s espoused here which solidly originate in the economic fact – business reality that 80+% of most company’s value and sources of revenue, etc., lie in – emerge directly from IA’s. This economic fact should not go in-noticed or under-estimated, particularly when negotiating most any transactions’ value, competitive advantages, sector standing, and future performance.

Achieving operational familiarity with IA’s in advance, warrants attention here and now because anyone with responsibility for negotiating a business transaction, but commence it, absent familiarity with IA’s will surely find themselves, and whomever they represent, negotiating with an incomplete portrait of the other parties assets, how those assets will be (are) in play, and can influence (negotiation, transaction) outcomes, i.e., success, sustainability, and profitability, or failure. This oversight (neglect, dismissiveness) can also serve (unnecessarily) as entrees upon which (negotiation) confusion, distortions, unsubstantiated generalities, impasses, and walk-aways will undoubtedly occur.

So, in my judgment, business leadership and management teams that have achieved IA operational familiarity in advance of a transaction overture, i.e., they recognize the presence, contributory role, value, and competitive advantages produced by IA’s, will clearly have a strategic (lucrative, competitive) advantage. This is particularly apropos as growing percentages of industry, trade, and commerce, globally, originate from IA intensive and dependent businesses.

With respectful confidence, the clarity, differentiation, performance measuring, and valuing of IA’s advocated here and recognized as (transaction) negotiation requisites, will sure to lead to more lucrative, competitive, and sustainable (project, transaction) outcomes, whenever, however, or wherever IA’s, are in play.

On the other hand, when-if transaction negotiations, preliminary or otherwise, are undertaken absent leadership-management team acknowledgement for IA development, contributory value, competitive advantage, materiality, and risk, etc., will likely experience outcomes that produce substantially less value, revenue, competitiveness, and sustainability that projected and desired, which frequently translates as some level of failure and unnecessary squandering of resources with little or no return.

Prudent objectives for business leadership and transaction negotiation management teams are to…

• acquire sufficient operational familiarity with key (operational) IA’s of
their firm, but equally important, the firm(s) in which interest is being
exhibited.

• of course, learning how to do this objectively and distinguish
the relevant from the irrelevant are essential in terms of efficiency,
effectiveness, and framing strategy-tactics and values.

Respectfully, it’s worth noting again, if IA’s are omitted, dismissed, or otherwise deemed irrelevant to a (business transaction) negotiation in which IA’s and tangible-physical assets will be bought, sold, traded, etc., but subordinates the IA’s in play to convention and/or past practice, it’s likely outcomes will be measurably less lucrative, competitive, and sustainable, but carry higher risks, as they otherwise could.

On the other hand, correctly identifying IA’s in play, whether it is for strategic-tactical planning, decision making, and/or negotiations are not responsibilities relevant only to Fortune-ranked firms. Instead, IA’s play clear and important roles in small and medium-sized companies, businesses, and start-ups!

Intangible Assets, What Companies, Management Teams Are Obliged To Know Now!

February 11th, 2017. Published under Board oversight, Business Transactions, Fiduciary Responsibility, Intangible asset strategy. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly February 11, 2017 A business blog where attention span really matters!

Integral to business operability, and certainly as a prelude to undertaking – engaging in any new initiative or transaction wherein IA’s are ‘in play’, i.e., bought, sold, acquired, or traded, etc., leadership and management teams are obliged to know, with sufficient specificity, how to distinguish, measure, and monitor…
• what IA’s are, their rightful owner-originator, and which IA’s are in play.
• IA’s contributory role to value, revenue, competitive advantages, and asset commercialization opportunities.
• IA value and performance throughout their respective life, value, materiality, and functionality cycles.
• and, identify and mitigate IA risks in both pre, and post (transaction) contexts, particularly risks which, if materialized, would undermine – erode asset value, a project’s momentum, and most, if not all, competitive advantages.

Today, with ‘keystroke capability’, businesses can rapidly engage in global competition and enter new markets, each variously enabled by at will access to ‘always on’ worldwide (intermodal) supply and distribution channels ala air freight carriers, containerized ocean-rail shipping, and e-commerce.

These comparatively new, but, very integral enablers – components to global trade are consistently tweaking their ‘logistics’ through inputs of intellectual, relationship, and structural capital, ala IA’s, to create more efficiency, speed, capacity, and on-time delivery. Such capabilities permit mature, new, and emerging businesses alike, regardless of size, sector, location, product, or volume, to distribute their products and services whenever and wherever markets exist, or are emerging, and do so rapidly and absent the burdensome expense and time to independently configure conventional supply-distribution channels.

The at will availability-access to these now ‘infrastructured’ intermodal services represent factors that further influence business leadership to look – think more forwardly, e.g., consider where, when, how, and which type-category of IA (ala, collaborations of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, etc.) should be introduced to produce the most effective, competitive, and profitable outcomes.

A parallel aspect to these ‘infrastructered’ intermodal assets, is recognizing the necessity to consistently invest in developing, acquiring, and integrating nuanced-specific IA’s to accommodate continuous improvement, create efficiencies, sustain-build competitive advantages, increase-stabilize company-IA value, and utilized-exploited to develop new-additional sources of revenue.

An especially important capability, of course, is being able to determine their (IA’s) impact on – relationship to company-shareholder value. This value, in my judgement, and that of others, should no longer be limited by either the content or how conventional balance sheets and financial statements are framed. Instead, company (business) value should convey whether-or-not, i.e., a measure of how well, a company develops, safeguards, uses, and exploits IA’s under its control, e.g., as coordinated spring boards, building blocks, and/or paths to elevating (asset) value, revenue, competitive advantages, and wealth creation potential.

It is indeed an understatement, to assume business operability today is enmeshed in anything less than a ‘sea change’ as its operational interface with IA’s rise routinely. The IA phenomenon is, what I refer to, euphemistically, as an ‘inevitable unknown’. By that, I mean, there were numerous indicators appearing within and throughout companies and businesses, often, in advance of the publication of respected studies which surfaced IA’s actual (contributory) role and value, had more attention been paid.

So, another upshot to this total economic shift to IA’s is business leadership directing – allocating proportionately fewer resources to company’s physical-tangible assets and more resources to IA’s in play, i.e., their development, monetization, and exploitation of (their) competitive-creative capital.

For all the forward-looking insights that surfaced through the Brookings Institution’s ‘Intangibles Project’ and complimentary research conducted in the EU, there is no indication these projects were undertaken solely or even primarily, to influence revisions to conventional (IA) reporting, accounting, taxing, or the standards, statues, and regulations the relevant professions are obliged to uphold. But, to be sure, notions to that affect have occurred.

Companies and Management Teams Can Run, But They Can’t Hide From Intangible Assets!

January 2nd, 2017. Published under Fiduciary Responsibility, Intangible asset strategy, Intangible asset training for management teams.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly   January 2, 2017   ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’!

Let’s be clear, IA’s (intangible assets) are thoroughly and irreversibly embedded in business operability as enablers and sources of value, revenue, and competitive advantage which manifest as variations-collaborations of intellectual, relationship, and/or structural capital.

One perspective I hear voiced about IA’s with some frequency in routine encounters with company-business leadership and management teams is their over-dramatization of a perception that the introduction of IA’s to company operability requires substantial company-wide adjustments as preludes to execution.  Too, their perceptions are often conveyed with a sense of enormity, i.e., execution will entail significant outlays of time, resources, and managerial, operational, and even cultural change before returns may be realized.  Such perceptions, unfortunate as they are, will likely persist as long as business leadership and management teams approach ‘change’ to convention, past practice, or company culture, ala executing on their IA’s, through the traditional lens of (a.) how long will it take, (b.) how much will it cost, or worse, (c.) assuming their company neither produces nor possesses any IA’s that produce value, enable new sources of revenue or competitive advantage.

Aside from fiduciary responsibilities conveyed in Stone v. Ritter, which directed attention to the stewardship, oversight, and management of company’s IA’s, business leaders and management teams may act as dismissively as they wish with respect to whether they engage their IA’s or not!

My experiences suggest that when company leadership exhibits hesitancy and/or reluctance to engage their IA’s, outcomes can vary.  Yes, one is, their company may eventually ‘muddle through’.  But, when they are inevitably influenced-prompted by logic and competitiveness to engage their IA’s, such actions often manifest in crisis and/or urgency contexts.

Proceeding with IA execution, absent sufficient operational familiarity with IA’s will likely surface numerous disenchanting missteps, miscues, frustration, and minimal patience which influences an initial focus on near-term outcomes.  Such circumstances, in turn, minimize confidence in going forward, i.e., IA conversion to sources of revenue, value, and competitive advantage, in strategic contexts. Quality and thorough IA operational familiarity remains the most important step off point for execution.

It is true, some company leadership and management teams believe they can still run from their IA’s.  But, many more are finding it increasingly challenging to continue to hide from (ignore, dismiss) their IA’s!  After all, it is a globally universal economic fact that 80+% of most companies value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for future wealth creation, competitiveness, sustainability, and profitability today, lie in – derive directly from IA’s.  No hiding or running from this, unless, that is, failure is an option!

Growing numbers of us are employed in sector-specific organizations in which growing percentages of company’s which are IA intensive and dependent.  More specifically, the contributory value many of us make to our  employer – company (as employees, individuals, professionals) manifest as forms-variants of intellectual, relationship, competitive, collaborative, creative, and/or structural capital, ala IA’s.  Of course, I am not suggesting people-employees are mere collections of exploitable IA’s, indeed, we are much more than that.  In comparison, it is reasonable to consider that many of the (personal, professional) returns one receives from their education, employment, skill sets, family, leisure, etc., are genuinely intangible.  Individually – collectively each serve as potential pathways to (personal) satisfaction, fulfillment, sense of dignity, and self-worth, etc., not terribly unlike a businesses very valuable reputation, brand, image, and goodwill, etc.

In business management and organizational behavior contexts, acquiring-possessing attributes such as these and having them manifest through our work (product) should come as no surprise!  Shouldn’t the same be applied to company-business operation?

Through my lens as an IA strategist, risk specialist, and trainer, for every transaction, operation, or initiative a business or company undertakes and/or engages, there are (fiduciary) responsibilities to maximize, extract, and safeguard as much value and competitive advantage as possible from the IA’s in play!  This is important because it is an undisputed, irreversible, and globally universal economic fact that, for an overwhelming percentage of companies today, 80+% of their value, sources of revenue, and pathways for sustainable growth, wealth creation, competitiveness, and reputation, lie in – draw directly from collaborations of, usually existing-internal IA’s.

In other words, growing percentages of businesses-companies, irrespective of sector, size, revenue, or maturation, are now IA intensive and dependent. This means IA’s are integral to company operability and sustainability. For example, intellectual, structural, and relationship capital as types-categories of IA’s, can manifest as operation and/or transaction specific knowhow and efficiencies, which should generally be considered proprietary. As such, IA’s are now far more than mere tools to manage other (usually tangible-physical) assets.  Instead, IA’s can be standalone or collaborative commodities with varying cycles of contributory value, functionality, materiality, and risk attached.  (Adapted by Michael D. Moberly from the work by Anne Wells Branscomb.)

Sewing Intangibles of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

August 8th, 2016. Published under Communicating Risk, Intangible asset strategy. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly August 8, 2016 ‘A blog intersecting intangible assets and business’!

As noted in previous posts, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) are intangible assets (or liabilities) depending on who the recipient(s) may be, the content-context of what’s being conveyed, the motive – intent of the individual, movement, or organization conveying FUD, and how may influence and/or manifest as actions – reactions from/by those being targeted and receptive to the message.

It’s important to recognize, when an individual(s) achieves or assumes some type of leadership – spokesperson role that includes having a platform to exploit – intensify (current, future) fears, uncertainties, and doubts beyond the realities can influence – motivate the receptive to supportively band together.

A seemingly frequent outcome of purveyors of FUD is the listeners (observers, recipients, targets) to such pronouncements will acquire a sense of connection to those proselytizing. And, at some point will become regressively disillusioned to the point of wholly disregarding-dismissing alternative facts, reason, context, and reality in favor of the broad, over dramatized generalizations and half-truths being espoused.

One can routinely observe FUD principles or carefully contrived variations exploitatively woven into media advertisements as underliers to introducing and selling a large percentage of (new) products and services in ways that appeal to – accommodate – address broad numbers of prospective buyer’s – client’s circumstances, needs, aspirations, or frustrations with the status quo. Numerous researchers attribute such receptivity to the notion that fear, uncertainty, and doubt are grammatically and visually easy to convey.

Too, in many contexts, well scripted presentations (advertisements) that incorporate timely, relevant, and specific elements of FUD can influence receptive parties to assume there are relatively quick and simple (single) fixes. In other words, if x is purchased and deployed (generalization) one’s problems and/or frustrations, at least how they are perceived, will be substantially reduced, if not go away altogether. Of course, that seldom happens in full.

Intangible Asset Due Diligence Transaction Pre-Post Monitoring

August 1st, 2016. Published under Due Diligence and Risk Assessments, Intangible asset assessments/audits., Sustainability of intangible assets.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly August 1, 2016 ‘A blog intersecting intangible assets and business!’

Intangible asset specific due diligence is a necessary, but often overlooked component in consummating business transactions, especially pre and post monitoring.

For management teams, c-suites, boards, and stakeholders, it’s important, more so today than perhaps ever before, to recognize that merely because a deal, transaction, or M&A has been proposed, appears promising and has progressed to its relevant due diligence stage, does not constitute assurance any of the projected-anticipated value, synergies, efficiencies, scalability, and competitive advantages will actually materialize or be sustainable.

The probability that any calculated – anticipated projections related to a business transaction outcome will materialize to benefit its initiator, preferably sooner than later, is increasingly dependent on the sophistication of due diligence management teams to recognize the economic fact that today, 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, future wealth creation, and sustainability reside in – evolve directly from IA’s (intangible assets). To increase the probability that initial projections (to a transaction’s outcome) will materialize as intended, the scope of transaction due diligence must include identifying, unraveling, assessing asset fragility and transferability, mitigating risks, and otherwise safeguarding-preserving the key – contributory IA’s value and competitive advantages.

The key forms which the dominant, most valuable, and competitive advantage driving IA’s exist are intellectual, structural, relationship, and competitive capital and reputation/brand. In most instances, it is these IA’s and their scalability which likely drew attention around which the initial and underlying rationale for imagining and undertaking a particular transaction was framed

True, in many instances, valuable – competitive advantage driving IA’s can be variously fragile and vulnerable to various risks, including value – competitive advantage fluctuation, misappropriation and infringement. For good reason then, the ability to monitor control, use, ownership, and value of key IA’s to the transaction, in both pre and post contexts, will sustainable and lucrative projections be realized. The rationale; more companies today engage in domestic – international trade and business transactions as a matter of routine. Too, for a significant percentage of those transactions, the negotiations are aggressive, competitive, predatorial, and come with winner-take-all outcomes. Under these circumstances, dismissing and/or relegating these business – transaction realities and fiduciary responsibilities about IA’s to the un-initiated, unaware, or unfamiliar when IA’s will inevitably be dynamic contributors to lucrative outcomes of transactions.

In that regard, I have had the privilege, over the years, to engage countless business decision makers and strategists across industry sectors. In private conversation, few, if any of these executive dispute my characterizations and advocacy of IA’s. Assuming these conversations are representative, it would seem prudent then that IA’s would be applied to all relevant aspects of a business transaction process, especially pre-post (transaction) due diligence where sustaining – monitoring control, use, and ownership of IA’s contributory role, value, and competitive advantages are paramount to the outcome.

Venture Capital Questions About Intangible Assets

May 9th, 2016. Published under Due Diligence and Risk Assessments, Early stage companies., IP strategy., Sustainability of intangible assets.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly May 9, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

Venture forums…
My experiences as an observer of venture forums is that they are fast paced and highly charged ‘electric’ events wherein management teams of a growing array of RBSU’s (research based startups) university-based spinoffs, and early stage companies, most all of which are rich in – dependent upon IA’s (intangible assets) give impassioned ‘elevator pitches’ to prospective investors whose expertise and inclination – receptivity to invest have evolved to become increasingly narrow and specialized, as perhaps it should.

The format for venture forums I have attended is that pitches are limited to 3-5 minutes wherein the spokesperson explains their companies’ mission, key-competitive aspects of their innovation, additional research-trials necessary, fiscal projections, business model, why investment is warranted, and how the investments will be applied should an investor deem it a worthy risk. Should a ‘pitch’ be well received, the company representative will likely be peppered with questions from prospective investors or their representatives, one of which is invariably ‘what’s your IP position’?

What’s your IP position…
Of the numerous venture forums attended, the most consistent answer to this albeit over-rated, misunderstood, yet seemingly obligatory questions are…
• has a patent application has been filed (provisional),
• is a patent pending, or
• has a patent been issued?

Through my lens as an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist, the importance attached to achieving formal/official IP (intellectual property) status for one’s innovation is overstated, perhaps variously inflated. And, the consistency which prospective investors ask the IP position question collectively suggest both parties assume conventional IP, patents particularly, are requisites to securing investment capital necessary to proceed. I hold a somewhat different perspective. There are other equally, if not more relevant factors to any innovation under consideration which prospective investors should sort out as part of their ‘invest – don’t invest’ decisions.

Legal symbolism…
True, IP status does provide investors with the necessary legal standing and recourse options should the invested enterprise fail, not meet its projections, or its (protected) proprietary information succumb to infringement or challenge within the typical 3 – 5 year exit strategy plan investors frequently demand. And, yes, patents and other forms of intellectual property are obligatory for WTO and TRIPS signatories.

But, the global business transaction environment is becoming increasingly aggressive, predatorial, competitive, and legacy free. This translates of course to proprietary information, irrespective of its IP status, is, all but certain, to be targeted and sought. That coupled with the persistent challenges and vulnerability to intangible asset (IP) infringement, theft, and/or counterfeiting make an RBSU’s IP position little more than legal symbolism. Should companies elect to pursue other strategies to safeguard their proprietary – competitive advantage intangible assets, i.e., trade secrecy for example, those legal portals for bringing action against the inevitable infringers, thieves, and counterfeiters in locales where a company’s most valuable assets are in play also carries some ambiguity.

Legal – economic safety nets…
Through my lens, conventional IP has less relevance as a legal – economic safety net than startup management teams – prospective investors should assume. Too, the costs associated with mounting an IP infringement – misappropriation suit are significant, if not cost and time prohibitive for resource conscious startups to pursue regardless of case credibility.
It’s prudent for investors and IP holders alike to acknowledge patents and most other forms of IP, no longer serve as…
• standalone deterrents, or
• reliable prognostications of innovation value.

The more relevant venture forum questions are…
I urge prospective investors – venture capitalists to re-phrase their ‘IP position’. For example, rather than merely asking ‘what’s your IP position’ assuming it is an important criterion, perhaps a more relevant and telling question would be…

has the proprietary know how, i.e., intellectual, structural, and
relationship capital that underlie the startups’ innovation and
serve as the cornerstone to the IP on which an investment would be
premised, been adequately safeguarded from its inception!

Important to recognize patents start life as proprietary information and trade secrets…
It’s a well acknowledged adage in the information asset protection arena that patents typically start life as trade secrets and proprietary know how. Therefore, if key – distinguishing know how underlying innovation and its prospective investment has been treated in a cavalier manner…
• absent the requisite minimums of trade secrecy or other best
information asset protection practices
• prior to filing a patent application,
• it’s prudent for prospective investors to ascertain
• the status, i.e., fragility, stability, and commercial-fiscal
sustainability of the assets being considered for investment.

Asset vulnerability, probability, criticality, and speed…
Today, the vulnerability, probability, criticality, and speed which know how, i.e., intellectual and structural capital assets particularly, can be compromised, infringed, misappropriated, or stolen are integral to any ‘invest – don’t invest’ decision.

Follow-up questions…
Before making an investment in intangible asset rich and dependent companies, it’s important to direct probing follow-up questions to company management teams. Doing so will allow prospective investors to more objectively assess whether control, use, ownership, and value of the underlying intangible assets are…
• sustainable relative to an intended exit strategy, and
• reflective of the assets’ functionality and value cycle.

Today, with increasing certainty, ineffectively safeguarded intangible assets (IP) will quickly hemorrhage in value, competitive advantage, and elevate investor’s vulnerability to costly, time consuming, and momentum stifling challenges and exit strategy headaches!

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.

Marketing Intangible Assets To Skeptics

February 8th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset strategy, Intangible asset teaching and training., Intangible asset training for management teams.. No Comments.

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

Respectfully, one would think at this point, with it being a globally universal economic fact that 80+% of most company’s – organization’s value, sources of revenue, and building blocks for growth, sustainability, and profitability today evolve directly from IA’s (intangible assets) any challenge related to bringing management teams and boards to the ‘intangible asset’ table would be minimal.  That message still demands clarity today, i.e., explanation, confirmation, and demonstration of IA’s contributory role and value to company’s – organization’s insofar as achieving financial and competitive advantage benefits.

For IA strategists like myself, that challenge often lies in getting management teams and boards to recognize (a.) the IA’s their company/organization actually produces and possesses and (b.) the contributory roles (to value, revenue, competitive advantage, etc.) and (c.) providing sufficient rationale and guidance for taking action.

For a percentage of still skeptical – unconvinced management teams and boards (about IA’s) the all but assured benefits and competitive advantages accruing from their effective use-application is misinterpreted as not occurring until some distant point in the company’s – organization’s future.  IA strategic planning practiced by this strategist is presented-executed with a near term emphasis that minimizes any rationale to delay engaging one’s IA’s financially – competitively or be dismissive about or otherwise trivialize the benefits.

There are techniques applied in seminars and/or training to influence greater – broader (management team, board) receptivity to effectively applying their IA’s.  Two important techniques are (a.) ensuring management teams and boards recognize what IA’s are, and (b.) achieving sufficient operational familiarity to identify, unravel, assess, position and otherwise consistently use-exploit IA’s profitably and competitively.

This entails, among other things, developing a (more) coalescing approach that encourages more company – organization management teams and boards to engaged and act on their IA’s.  In other words, positioning IA’s for becoming routine action items on c-suite discussions and strategic planning agendas.

Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, m.moberly@kpstrat.com View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘safeguarding

Prioritizing Public Radio’s Intangible Assets

January 28th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset assessments/audits., Intangible asset valuation., Sustainability of intangible assets.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly   January 28, 2016   ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’!

National Public Radio (NPR) is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States.

NPR produces and distributes news and various cultural programming, however, individual public radio stations are not required to broadcast all NPR programs, instead most broadcast a mixture of NPR programs and content from other providers, i.e., American Public Media, Public Radio International, and Public Radio Exchange, as well as locally (station specific) programs.

There numerous qualities My experience in identifying and prioritizing most organization’s IA’s (intangible assets) commences with assessing the assets’ strategic relevance to mission, i.e.,

  • the sustainability – longevity of the asset’s contribution to an organization’s overall value and/or to a particular project or initiative.
  • their consistency insofar as sources of revenue and competitiveness, and
  • their defensibility.

There is an important caveat to this process however, at least through my lens. That is to ensure IA prioritization is not portrayed in a subjective (high, medium, low) continuum context or range estimates, ala Antique Road Show. Instead, asset prioritization should include clear and objective demonstration of their collective, collaborative, competitive, and/or individual contributory role(s) and value.

IA’s, of course, materialize in various ways. For example, relationship capital (an IA) that a public radio station and its staff forge with their communities of listener’s and stakeholders, holds substantial value and frequently triggers new initiatives, projects, and/or programming which in turn deliver multi-layered competitive advantages, i.e., attractive platforms for articulating – communicating issues of the day to all corners of a station’s community of listeners and stakeholders. As it is for any journalistic – news gathering – reporting enterprise, relationship capital is an essential, highly prized, and very valuable IA which embodies, in this instance, a public radio station’s brand.

I am confident public radio leadership appreciate – recognize (station) value, competitiveness, and impact to their respective communities of listeners. These are frequently attributable to prudent ‘envelope pushing’ initiatives, be it through exceptional personnel, new programming, or schedule modifications integrated-enhanced through community outreach, social media, podcasts, an informative website, and a receptively engaging staff. Each serve public radio as legitimate and effective leverage points to…

  • attract capable and creative-innovative intellectual capital (staff).
  • operate an organization with an appealing-gratifying work culture and ethic.
  • deliver substantive content about issues of the day to its communities of listeners, readers, contributors, and sponsors, and
  • strengthen, expand, and ‘bank’ relationship capital.

It is indeed indisputable economic fact that IA’s play increasingly significant roles in organizations, ala 80+% of their value and sources of revenue, etc., lie in – emerge directly from IA’s. So, again, I encourage IA prioritization unravel IA’s relative to their individual and/or collaborative and ‘contributory role-value’, e.g., to a particular project or initiative, a station’s mission and its competitive advantages.

Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, m.moberly@kpstrat.com View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘safeguarding intangible assets’ or his CNN and CNBC videos at his webpage http://kpstrat.com