Michael D. Moberly December 16, 2008
Serious financial times, like today, demand equally serious and readily executable strategies to elevate company’s probability of survivability and sustainability (post recession). Sometimes those strategies are new, or one’s that have been around for awhile but have been dismissed, overlooked, or subordinated like, for instance, the utilization of intangible assets.
The point is, there is no other time in modern company governance (managerial, financial) history when intangible assets are more relevant to a company’s stability, sustainability, and profitability. The intent here is to draw attention to the business reality that a company’s intangibles constitute accessible, frequently valuable, and potentially monetizable assets that can be used – leveraged to genuinely help many companies better ‘weather’ this recession.
For ‘bricks and mortar’ (tangible asset) thinkers and managers, its easy to continue to rationalize the dismissal – subordination of intantible assets as constituting viable and strategic pathways to stability and sustainability because, for example, they (a.) don’t appear on balance sheets, (b.) lack physicality, and/or (c.) require departure from conventional ‘mba’ precepts. It’s difficult though to dismiss (challenge) the economic fact that 75+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and foundations for future sustainability lie in – are directly linked to intangible assets.
My intent is to respectfully signal that better utilization of a company’s intangible assets now, is a relevant and viable exercise that could literally help thousands of small, medium enterprises (SME’s) and small, medium multi-nationals (SMM’s) better weather this financial crisis.
There are, of course, some important fundamentals that all parties should acquire familiarity relative to their company, i.e.,
– what intangible assets does my company produce, possess, and own, and what forms do they take…?
– how does my company identify, unravel, and assess (internally, externally) its intangible assets…?
– how can my company know (assess) whether its intangible assets actually deliver – contribute to stakeholder value, revenue, and future wealth sustainability…?
– what best practices should my company use for the stewardship, oversight, and management of its intangible assets in order to sustain (protect, preserve) their control, use, ownership, and value…?
– what strategies should my company consider for positioning, leveraging, and extracting value from its intangible assets…
Let’s be realistic though, better utilization of a company’s intangible assets standing alone, probably won’t constitute the silver bullet necessary to completely survive the recession unscathed. Acquiring business operational familiarity with intangible assets though, can better position companies to be receptive to considering new ways to utilize, leverage/exploit, and extract value from intangible assets, i.e., (a.) experience measured growth despite the recession, (b.) sustain-build competitive advantages, (c.) advance relational capital, and (d.) build new and stronger business (strategic) alliances, among other things.