Michael D. Moberly January 13, 2012
In today’s globally competitive and predatorial business (transaction) environment, company management teams and boards are consistently seeking ways to be innovative and create (additional) value, revenue, and competitive advantages. One way this can be achieved is through the ‘executable inspiration’ that evolves from building a company culture that effectively and consistently identifies, utilizes, and exploits its intangible assets.
But, let’s make an important point first. Intangibles are not the elusive or esoteric constructs as they’re frequently characterized merely because they lack a conventional sense of physicality or don’t appear on company balance sheets or financial statements other than when they’re lumped together as goodwill.
So, to achieve this almost surely profitable state, i.e., a company culture focused on intangibles, and to do so consistently, requires the internalization of:
- what intangible assets are
- the various forms and contexts in which they exist
- how they’re produced, and
- recognize (measure) they’re contributory relevance and value to a company and/or business unit, i.e., underpin sources of revenue, competitive advantages, and growth opportunities.
With respect to the development of a culture, it will emerge and become observable as employees (collectively) recognize and begin to act on…
- a shared system of values
- that brings clarity to (defines) what is important, and
- contains certain norms, values, beliefs and attitudes that manifest as acceptable means to solve problems
- which, in turn, leads to efficiencies, competitive advantages, and reputational value, etc., on behalf of a company and/or business unit. (Adapted by Michael D. Moberly from the fine work of Dr. Edgar Shein)
It’s worthy to note also that building a company culture, particularly one focused on intangible assets is not, in my view, something which evolves exclusively in a top-down fashion, nor is it a characteristic owned and executed solely by a management team or c-suite.
Ultimately, as employees (companies) acquire confidence and expertise in identifying intangible assets, they will be assessed for, among other attributes, their contributory value to company processes or procedures and if marketable commonalities or combinations exist that can be bundled and used/exploited to advance a company process, product, or service.
A well-grounded (embedded) intangible asset focused company culture provides permanence, depth, and confidence to employees relative to their abilityt to:
- understand and distinguish intangibles, recognize their importance, and how – where they exist and/or are in play in most all business processes and transactions
- tweak and/or nuance intangibles to benefit themselves, their position, and the company, e.g., building, strengthening, and sustaining competitive advantages and customer and supplier relationships, etc.
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