Archive for 'Intangible asset training for management teams.'

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 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…

Intangibles, The Introverts of Business Assets!

February 23rd, 2017. Published under Intangible asset training for management teams., Intangible Asset Value. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly February 23, 2017 ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’!

It’s quite ironic that it’s a globally universal economic fact that today, 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and competitive advantages derive from IA’s (intangible assets), while, at the same time, intangibles are the ‘introverts’ of every businesses suite of asset’s.

That is, IA’s are obviously neither physical, nor tangible, and unfortunately, these features-characteristics, far too often translate as, because they are not subject to the five human senses in the conventional sense, must therefore, hold little or no reportable value.

In business circumstances in which leaders and/or management teams are operationally unfamiliar with the functionality of IA’s, it’s unlikely they will (independently) rise to being recognized-accepted as contributors to a businesses’ value, competitive advantages, or as sources of revenue, etc. What’s more, when such contrarian outlooks persist, IA’s are likely to remain in subordinate and/or neglected states unless-until, that is…

• their developer-owner achieves sufficient (IA) operational familiarity to recognize, articulate, and demonstrate their worth and the necessity to sustain, cultivate, and integrate more – specialized IA’s to accommodate new business initiatives, transactions, and strategies.

• an IA strategist is invited to identify and bring the IA’s to a businesses’ operating surface where they can be acknowledged, unraveled, and assessed, and for the various ways they contribute to (business-company) value and new-additional sources of revenue and competitive advantage.

Absent either, and especially absent the business instincts and acumen to seek alternatives to ‘this is the way it’s always been done’, IA’s will unfortunately, remain relegated, at least in that company, as the proverbial wall flowers of business operability. That is, until it becomes obvious that certain assets, i.e., intangibles, have been compromised or other risks have materialized that rapidly and adversely affects the company’s reputation, revenue streams, and assessed value.

Intangible Asset Side of Business Habituation Can Be An Impediment

February 13th, 2017. Published under Fiduciary Responsibility, Intangible asset training for management teams., Managing intangible assets, Uncategorized. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly February 13, 2017 A business blog about intangible assets where attention span really matters!

Business acumen acquired from – retained through personal experience permits most of us to ‘encode’ repetitive activities and processes (we engage in) as habits, which, in turn, allows us to free up ‘brain space’ to learn new things. This encoding process is referred to as habituation.

Habituation however, may not always translate – manifest as (business) improvements, new practices, or creating much needed efficiencies. Instead, in its extreme, ‘habituation’ that manifests as unquestioned adherence – attachment to perpetuating past practice and/or convention, without considering some may be variously obsolete, nearing irrelevance, or wholly uncompetitive, can, quite literally, push economic realities, ala IA’s, off ‘the proverbial table’ and strategic planning radar screens to be obstructions to business competitiveness, sustainability, and viable paths to creating value and (new, additional) sources of revenue.

When one recognizes how to differentiate habitual (sometimes trivial) details from those which are genuinely relevant, competitive, and value-revenue creating, ala IA-related, vs. merely continuing to approach-execute certain practices and/or processes because ‘we have always done it this way’ (with no intent-desire to change) is habituation, perhaps in its most extreme form.

There are many good and relevant reasons why we (our brains, personalities) are receptive to habituation. One is, if habituation were absent, proponents would argue we would likely be destined to consistently taking notice of and acting on relatively inconsequential minutia – details of work. Doing so would likely impede, if not limit our work effectiveness and efficiency. That’s because, presumably it would leave little time or inclination to notice or learn new things, i.e., change that could favorably affect the way we approach, engage, execute (our) work-job.

A relevant, all-be-it comedic example of this is (comedian) Jerry Seinfeld’s career which his followers recognize has largely been built on making light of the supercilious minutia of life behaviors and processes which most of us accept and comply with as mere unquestioned realities, i.e., this is the way someone decided it should be done, and it may never rise to a level that prompts us to question why!

Yes, it’s a generalization, but, many successful business persons, are often ‘wired’ to not just notice changes in habits, life expectations, and tolerance, and re-cast them in question contexts, i.e., ‘what could be’? For example, ask, what product-service could be developed, reconfigured, modified, etc., to ‘scratch an itch’ affecting significant and diverse percentages of populations, how much will it cost to produce and market, how quickly can it be brought to market, and what are the risks of doing so, and, if so, what, when, where, and how will they materialize?

These, so-called ‘wired’ individuals, often go multiple steps insofar as anticipating, seeking, embracing, and internalizing change, and how to translate same to develop, monetize, and commercialize discoveries, technologies, and products, embedded with IA’s, often, long before it materializes in a Jerry Seinfeld comedy sketch. Wired individuals are inclined to recognize-distinguish ‘benefits and beneficiaries’ in futuristic contexts vs. recognizing its existence and affects after the fact.

In one sense, this-is-why I frequently characterize my work, as strangely as this may appear to some, as consistently viewing business-company operability through an intangible asset lens. More specifically, during engagements, I respectfully examine actions and perspectives conveyed by business leadership and company management teams in the context of how, why, where, when, and circumstances in which (their) IA’s are used – leveraged (or, not) and how either impacts or contributes to a specific outcome favorably or unfavorably.

It’s not particularly challenging, I find, for business pundits to equate (critique) a company’s missteps or miscues subjectively as missed opportunities. On the other hand, it’s substantially more challenging to correctly define and collaboratively resolve challenges – risks related to business value, sources of revenue, competitive advantages, and reputation that originate – are embedded in non-physical (intangible) assets, which, irrespective of their contributory value, are seldom, if ever, mentioned.

So, when I am engaged with-by clients and companies about their IA’s, i.e., to facilitate-enable lucrative and competitive treatments-applications, I recognize, respectfully so, there have likely been multiple and various circumstances arise previously that singularly or collectively elevated awareness and importance of particular-IA’s. When this occurs, it allows those experiencing – achieving IA operational familiarity, substantially and operationally, better positioned to recognize-examine their IA circumstances to determine if such preludes were and remain present, i.e., determine-assess if, when, where, and how IA’s are being acknowledged and utilized effectively, lucratively, and competitively.

Why am I addressing this? It’s because forward looking-thinking business leaders and management teams are becoming more adept at recognizing – distinguishing processes, initiatives, risk, transactions, and challenges, etc., through IA lens, all-be-it often filtered through conventional sense of (tangible asset) physicality. In the pre-knowledge worker era, obviously previous-to recognizing IA’s contributory role and value to businesses and companies, it was largely assumed that innovation, transaction success, mitigating risks, and/or resolving challenges could be accomplished by simpler (physical) techniques, e.g., deciding which knobs needed adjusting, which screws needed tightening, or which moving parts needed lubrication, etc. In other words, physical methodologies were routinely attached to both the execution and resolution side.

Today, however, it’s a globally universal economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value (sources of revenue, competitive advantage, etc.) lie in – evolve directly from IA’s. A logical extension of this economic fact is that the value and/or pricing of a transaction is reflected in the IA’s in play. This has relevance on several levels, perhaps the most significant is the necessity for business leadership – management teams to recognize the intangible (invisible – non-physical) elements in value, competitiveness, and sustainability, etc., and address them accordingly. (The above was substantially modified by Michael D. Moberly from Tony Fadel’s, March 2015, TEDTalk titled ‘The first secret of design, is noticing’.)

Intangible Asset Global Shift

February 10th, 2017. Published under Fiduciary Responsibility, Intangible asset training for management teams., Intangibles as strategic assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly February, 10, 2017 A business blog where attention span really matters!

Indeed, country economies have rapidly entered and connected to an era irreversibly intertwined, at all levels and functions, in which IA’s (intangible assets) are the overwhelmingly dominant ‘players and actors’ as sources of revenue, value, competitive advantage, and sustainability, all of which I believe, we are in the early stages.

This translates as most companies and businesses, irrespective of sector, are, whether recognized or not, have shifted economically away from reliance on – applications of tangible-physical assets to being irreversibly attached to – dominated by intangible – non-physical assets. In other words, the IA era which influenced growing percentages of business – company leadership and management teams to engage their IA’s (functionally, operationally, competitively, and monetarily), some for the first time, is now indeed, for many, a permanent component to c-suite agenda’s.

That is not to suggest dependence – reliance on (conventional) tangible – physical assets has been completely eliminated to the point of absence. Instead, it means business leadership are variously (fiduciarily) obliged to recognize that business competitiveness, value, and revenue generation, etc., require IA inputs to achieve desired outcomes.

Starting in the mid-to-late 1990’s, I had the good fortune, and perhaps good sense, while faculty engaged in security-asset protection studies at Southern Illinois University, to read-study early products (chapters) of a multi-year project undertaken by The Brookings Institution titled ‘Understanding Intangible Sources of Value’. The principle investigators-authors of the project, several of whom I engaged at the time in discussion for clarity and insight, were a strong troupe of forward looking-thinking professionals. Most, to my recollection, were not exclusively schooled in economics per se, but never-the-less, experienced and respected practitioners who clearly understood the impending prominence – dependence on IA’s. For me, that Brookings’ project remains a very insightful treatise, certainly equal to the fine work on IA’s developed-produced at prominent institutions in the UK and Sweden.

To be sure, IA’s, still prompts some debate in certain quarters, debate that is less about the existence and presence of IA’s, and their contributory role and value they consistently play in business operability, innovation, and transactions, etc., and more about how to report IA’s relative to convention and profession specific standards, practices, and statutes.

Arguably, the IA ‘sea change’ for business, grew out of various consternations that conventional financial statements and balance sheets largely dominated by ‘tangible assets’ and to the exclusion or, at the very least, minimization of IA’s. Among the key arguments of IA proponents, aspects of which remain today, is that continued adherence to conventional asset reporting and accounting, (that essentially excludes IA’s) is insufficient, insofar as painting a complete and accurate portrait of a company’s financial wealth, health, potential, and competitive standing. This argument is all-the-more-relevant now, given the economic fact that substantial percentages (80+%) of most company’s value, revenue, and competitive advantage derived directly from IA’s.

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 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.)

Intangible Assets As Sources of Value, A Global Shift For Business!

December 30th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset training for management teams., Intangible Asset Value, Intangibles as strategic assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly    December 30, 2016     ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’!

In the mid-to-late 1990’s, I had the good fortune and perhaps good sense, while faculty engaged in security-asset protection studies at Southern Illinois University, to read-study early products of a multi-year project undertaken by The Brookings Institution titled ‘Understanding Intangible Sources of Value’. This project was authored by a strong troupe of subject matter experts. In my judgment, ‘Understanding Intangibles’ remains a very insightful and illuminating treatise equal to the fine work on IA’s (intangible assets) developed-produced at prominent UK and Swedish institutions.

Then, as well as now, ‘Understanding Intangibles’ prompted debate and signaled change, away from tangible – physical assets to non-physical, intangible assets as the foundations to most company’s value and sources of revenue.  In no small part, this change grew out of recognition that conventional financial statements and balance sheets, with their traditional reporting-accounting of tangible assets, to the exclusion of IA’s (intangible assets), no longer captured – painted an inclusive portrait of company’s actual financial wealth or health.  That’s because growing percentages of companies globally, were engaging and benefitting from the ‘knowledge-technology era’ (which large segments of the world were immersed at the time).  This era was largely spear-headed by the infinite depth, breadth, and range of IA’s, broadly categorized as being comprised of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital.

From the ‘knowledge-technology era’  emerged a shift to – dominance of IA’s, and perhaps, not so coincidentally, influenced further sophistication, influence, and growth of the…

  • transformation of entire industry sectors, i.e., transportation, financial services, and telecommunications, etc., from regional and national, to global entities.
  • development and integration of new technologies and companion (efficient) work processes.
  • accessibility to globally coordinated and instantaneous (air, sea, land, and rail) supply and product-service distribution chains.
  • the ability for new companies to enter markets – industry sectors and secure rapid returns and competitive advantages by the prudent investment, acquisition, development, and monetization of strategic IA’s.
  • aggressive and predatorial market-sector entry tactics practiced on a global scale by ‘legacy free’ players and countries.

Collectively, these and other simultaneously occurring phenomenon intensified a global business investment and transaction environment, in which IA’s are consistently in play.  Similarly and inevitably, certain parallel demands on companies would surface. That is, businesses seeking strategically sustainable tracts would be obliged to be continually engaged in innovation, ala IA’s, as one requisite to remaining relevant, competitive, and financially sound coupled with the necessity to develop and introduce new products, services, create efficiencies, and add-on’s through increasingly higher levels (quality) of IA inputs.

Of the numerous positive-lucrative outcomes to this phenomenon, one is that business innovation, competitiveness, value, revenue, profitability, and sustainability were being acknowledged by the forward looking-thinking business leaders as injecting and commoditizing targeted and relevant IA’s, particularly intellectual, structural, relationship, and creative capital at the right place, at the right time!

A second positive-lucrative outcome to this phenomenon was that IA’s were being universally recognized as primary conduits-foundations to business innovation, competitiveness, value-adds, and creating new sources of revenue. The realities, pressures, and intensity of global competition continued to pivot on IA’s. Spearheading companies that were already (effectively, efficiently, successfully) engaging their IA’s, as well as those businesses on strategic paths to do so, would, in all likelihood, remain operationally sustainable, competitive, and profitable.

Importantly, investments in the development and utilization of relevant and innovative IA’s would provide resonate clarity to the economic fact – business operation reality that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, sustainability, and future wealth creation were being fueled, almost exclusively, by business decisions rooted in enhanced awareness and appreciation for the contributory role and value of IA’s.

The prominent work of Baruch Lev (NYU, Stearn School of Economics) in the IA arena cannot be understated as being a consistent and forward looking-thinking contributor.

To be sure, his work continues to impact-influence the intangibles community which, in many respects, I believe, is encapsulated in his remark…’if intangibles are so risky, their benefits so difficult to measure and secure, and their liquidity (tradability) so low, how did they become the most valuable assets most companies possess’?

Banking The Equity In Intangible Assets

December 29th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset training for management teams., Reputation risk.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly December 29, 2016 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’!

Business leaders and management teams are obliged, now, perhaps more than ever, to acknowledge the prudence of ‘banking’ (monitoring, preserving) the equity held within their company’s IA’s. That equity, ultimately manifests, aside from value and potential sources of revenue, etc., as reputation, image, goodwill, and relationship capital. Seldom, if ever, does IA ‘equity’ materialize very rapidly. Instead, it evolves over periods of time as consumers-customers-clients attach favorable and long term relationships with/to a particular product, service, or, in some instances, a specific employee, ala IA.

There are some companies and their management teams, of course, who, for a variety of reasons and rationales, have yet to distinguish or associate these attributes (assets), intangible as they are, as contributing to, or even being sources of value and revenue. Other business leaders, based on my experiences, remain dismissive of IA’s, particularly in the context of reputation and generating customer-client-consumer ‘equity’ that is capable of being saved or banked. Again, my engagement experiences coupled with volumes of client centered research bear out the perspective that business leadership who remain dismissive of their company’s IA’s and their ‘equity’ potential, will likely experience unnecessary challenges to profitably operate and compete in IA intensive and dependent environments, now common to the ‘go fast, go hard, go global’ space.

Another consequence to business leadership’s dismissive approach to the necessity for – practice of ‘banking’ IA equity, is that they will be hard pressed to develop a comprehensive portrait of their company’s real financial – competitive advantage health. In other words, the ‘portrait’ they will likely receive from conventional accounting will be incomplete at best, if it does not fully address-include IA’s. In addition, on the transaction side, if IA development, safeguards, value, competitiveness, and equity are not routine discussion and/or action items on c-suite agendas, this too will contribute to understating IA’s contributory role and value to business transactions, particularly (again) for IA intensive and dependent firms, which a growing percentage clearly are.

Collectively, these circumstances frequently elevate company-business propensity to the materialization of risk which can adversely affect companies in many different ways, one being reputation, e.g.,

• dilute value of the key IA’s, ala reputation, image, and goodwill which are routinely in play, and
• undermine anticipated-projected synergies and competitive advantages, by
• making key (in play) IA ‘s substantially more fragile and vulnerable to risk.

Each circumstance represents an example of where-when the respectful guidance and services of an experienced IA strategist and risk specialist can favorably intervene to reduce the probability, vulnerability, and criticality of adverse events-risks materializing.

Such risk circumstances highlight the over-arching premise that management teams, boards, and even stakeholders have (fiduciary level) obligations (ala Stone v. Ritter) to routinely and objectively ask; is this company effectively positioned to develop and sustain current skill sets and experience to…

• identify, unravel, assess, develop, bundle, utilize, and extract as much value and competitive advantage as
possible from its IA’s under its control.
• safeguard and monitor IA value and identify and mitigate risks which, if-when materialized, will
adversely affect assets’ contributory role – value, and sources of revenue.

It’s reasonable for business leadership to consider then, if these purposefully acquired skill sets are not be regularly practiced, little else may matter, because IA value, competitive advantages, sources of revenue, and IA’s underlying equity that’s in play, can very rapidly erode, be undermined, compromised, or worse, the asset’s value, and by extension, its equity, go to zero!

Intangible Asset Training Delivers Multipliers To Companies and Management Teams

November 12th, 2016. Published under Fiduciary Responsibility, Intangible asset training for management teams., Managing intangible assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly November 12, 2016 ‘A blog where intangible assets meet business’!

1. Align IA development and use with a company’s strategic planning and core (business) mission and product/service lines.

2. Foster a company-wide IA culture that facilitates asset monitoring and more timely awareness of misappropriation, competitive advantage undermining, and asset value dilution.

3. Forge stronger relationships with legal counsel, auditors, and accountants on all matters related to intangibles and non-financials.

4. Strengthen convergence with knowledge management programs and balanced scorecard initiatives

5. Kick start company-wide strategic planning to achieve fuller utilization, accounting, and value from IA’s.

6. More efficient and effective use of legal counsel and IT resources…

7. Facilitate alignment of financial – risk management planning with asset monitoring, safeguards, and monitoring core strategic objectives that contribute to assessing performance of IA’s.

8. Bring consistency to business accounting and auditing by describing IA’s in revenue conversion – competitive advantage contexts.

9. Provide foundation for developing business continuity and contingency (organizational resilience) planning specific to IA’s to achieve quicker and more complete economic recovery following catastrophic events.

10. Elevate company’s stature and goodwill (reputation) among its customers, suppliers, and investors and gain attention of audiences well beyond a company’s traditional market space.

11. Identify ‘leverage points’ in negotiating IA insurance coverage and premiums…

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt Timeless Intangibles

August 4th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset training for management teams., Professional service firms.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly August 4, 2016 ‘A blog intersecting and navigating intangible assets for profitable business’!

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) are intangible assets (or liabilities) depending on who the recipient(s) may be, what the motive – intent of the individual, movement, or organization utilizing FUD is, and how FUD influences people to act – react.

Several years ago, I was encouraged to take a meeting with a high end marketing firm regarding my consultancy. The firm’s CEO, in her opening remarks, adamantly expressed the key to effective marketing lie in generating FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) among the businesses and clients I sought to engage. Unmistakably, her words translated as crafting and scripting marketing messages…
• to dramatize a consistent presence of risk, specific to prospective clients’ IA’s (intangible assets) and,
• if a company and/or its management team chose not to utilize my services they could expect to incur various
adverse economic – competitive advantage consequences in the near term.

Another obvious underlier to this marketing firm’s mantra is that company management teams, c-suites, boards, and stakeholders are seldom receptive – motivated to change, particularly during periods when conventional status quo markers provide satisfaction unless – until elements of imminent FUD can be articulately infused to ‘kick start’ relevant conversations in c-suites and boardrooms about maximizing value company’s IA’s. Should I choose to do otherwise, she emphatically said, my company would fail and she would be very reluctant to accept me as a client.

The marketing materials – pitches I had developed to date focused on two themes, i.e., respect, and uncertainty. By this I mean, the demeanor and language integrated throughout my marketing materials and pitch endeavored to be respectful to each party I would engage, that is, respecting their experience, status, and the possibility they may already hold perspectives – operational familiarity with IA’s which may or may not coincide with my own.

Similarly, during conversations with prospective clients, if I sensed uncertainty about what IA’s are, what they’re not, how to develop, position, and monetize them for their value and competitive advantages, etc., I would mitigate any uncertainties by identifying, unraveling, and applying IA’s held within their company as examples. I would do so in forward looking – thinking contexts for management teams to consider and draw attention to the economic fact their company’s value, competitiveness, wealth creation, and sustainability now resided in non-physical IA’s, not physical tangible assets.

My marketing materials and ‘pitches’ center on guiding client companies to achieve near and long term successes merely by learning how to recognize, develop, utilize, mitigate risk, and safeguard IA’s which they own, hold, have developed, or acquired.

The perspectives I hold about marketing my professional services are rooted in – evolve from the assumption that experienced and horizonal thinking companies and their management teams already recognized the economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, future wealth creation, competitiveness, and sustainability lie in intangible, not tangible assets. Therefore, there is no need to generate – rely on client companies FUD, instead, focus on how, why, and when company management teams are obliged to identify, distinguish, assess the contributory value, fragility, and sustainability of their IA’s. In other words, my marketing initiatives were not intended to generate dramatized uncertainty, rather to mitigate managerial uncertainties about how to utilize IA’s best.

Purposefully eliciting FUD among target audiences as an absolute prelude to attracting potential clients to engage my firm and purchase the product-services I offer remains a strategy which I am neither professionally nor personally comfortable or committed.

To this day, I harbor no regrets about not accepting this CEO’s FUD dominated marketing strategy. Admittedly however, my consultancy has yet to achieve several key projections. Whether that has any connection to the absence of planting – inserting FUD in marketing materials and pitches I simply don’t know. In my defense, my company emerged from a 20+ year (fulltime) career in academia in which I was recognized for bringing logical, rational, horizonal, and experientially-based explanations to criminology and private security issues to undergraduate and graduate students. At no time did I incorporate content intended to sew elements of FUD. Admittedly, in academia, I was not seeking to sell products and/or services, rather to influence student’s critical thinking that moved beyond convention, i.e., let’s do the same, only more of it, and let it be rationalized through perceptions fueled by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.