A Different Perspective to Frame Response to Business Reputational Risks…

Michael D. Moberly – January 6, 2024 – Business Intangible Asset Strategy & Risk Mitigation – Founder, Business Intangible Asset Blog kpstrat is a Business Intangible Asset Strategy – Risk Mitigation Collaborative.

We are in weird space wherein there is (a.) self-interpreted perceptions of evidentiary realism, (b.) an absence of trust in and respect for differing facts, truths, and realities, which are (c.) frequently eclipsed or replaced by realities’ (attributed to Dr. James Shanahan).

These business operation realities add complexity and challenge to how businesses conceive, and when, where, when, and the manner they execute reputation risk mitigation strategies. (Michael D.  Moberly)

Reputations are comprised of perceptions, images, beliefs, and opinions, etc., about people, businesses, brands, products, and/or services, etc.

We are obliged to remind ourselves that reputation is an intangible, i.e., it non-physical. A business’s reputation is (fiduciarily) obliged be treated as a ‘mission essential’ intangible asset. In other words, and not be errantly, negligently, or inattentively allowed to translate as a liability.

After all, 70 – 80+% of most business’s valuation, competitiveness, revenue generation capacity, and sustainability lie in – emerge directly from intangible assets, most of which are developed internally, held proprietarily, embed in operating culture, and convey – characterize reputation and standing. Intangibles | BrookingsUnseen Wealth: Report of the Brookings Task Force on Intangibles on JSTORIntangible Assets: Computers and Organizational Capital | Brookings

Business reputations…

  • contribute not only to valuation, competitive advantage, and revenue generation, etc., they
  • differentiate operating cultures relative to products, and service attractivity and quality, etc.
  • influence buy – don’t buy, and/or invest – don’t invest decisions.

For various, often observable reasons, reputations (associated with a business, brand, person, transaction, an ideology, or culture, etc.) appear more vulnerable to shoutable and viral risks.

I’m reminded of a Federal Penitentiary wardens’ public response to the demise of John Henry Abbott, who authored ‘In The Belly of The Beast’, for which there was national televised intrigue and debate. In an exasperated response to on-going requests for information, the warden memorably said, “I’m not going to get into a pissing match about John Abbott”, effectively closing any more expectation of comment. The national media crews dispersed soon thereafter.

We are obliged to consider prisons are not competitive entities and prison wardens do not vie for good, better, best reputations, nor compete for advantage to attract inmates. Prisons are tangible, physical, fixed structures, that exist for specific reasons, built to last for half-centuries, and need no marketing plan.

Prison reputations are comprised of perceptions, images, beliefs, and opinions of those who are incarcerated, those who are employed, both largely absent valuation, aside from costs of operation, unless or until management, care, and/or oversight are in doubt.

I am not suggesting that ‘I’m not going to get into a pissing match’ tactic carries any relevance today for the private sector, irrespective of how tempting such a tactic (response, reaction) may appear.

Unfortunately, when doubt surfaces, business reputations appear to be not as resilient and confident as they could and should be insofar as safeguarding – mitigating risk to reputation as a ‘mission essential’ intangible asset.

Vulnerabilities as this, can serve as tempting – inviting targets for arrays of venue-based – performative – motive driven shouters and shouting which sew machinations of doubt, collusion, conspiracy, and intrigue along with risky expectations to not remain silent to provocation, rather boisterously react and respond, and await the asymmetry of escalation.

The reputation of a business, its leaders, management team, board, and the operating culture each represents, are valuable and straight-forwardly affect (business, product, service) competitiveness, sustainability, durability, invest-ability, and resilience.

That said, business’s initial ‘public face’ ala reactions – responses to the materialization and confrontation of exacting reputation risk, are variously predictable, e.g.,

  • mannered, and convey a mixture of determination, defiance, and reliance on experientially developed and honed protocols to guide.

 Uniquely, each can give way to frustrations that may bear a resemblance to arguments for ‘stand your ground’ legislation.

We are obliged (at Business Intangible Asset Blog) to acknowledge this approach is not a standalone panoply. Rather, there are additional ingredients – components that warrant reader attention insofar as developing good-better-best enterprise-wide approach to mitigate a business’s vulnerability, probability, and criticality to ‘external shouts’ intended to adversely affect and/or bring suspect to a business’s reputation.

In numerous posts @ Business Intangible Asset Blog and new posts in development additional present-day realities are presented to mitigate the often public challenges which bringers – shouters of business reputation risk now regularly produce.

The Business Intangible Asset Blog was created in 2006 and now includes 1100+ topic specific posts intended to provide readers, ala business leaders, management teams, R&D administrators, boards, and investors, etc., with reliable insights to the application, valuation, competitiveness, revenue generation, and sustainability contributions of intangible assets.

Posts at Business Intangible Asset Blog are intended to draw attention to the development, application, management, safeguards, and risk mitigation of business’s ‘mission essential’ intangible assets.

Readers are respectfully invited to explore other – similar posts, along with books, pamphlets, and papers available @ ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ and kpstrat.com.

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