Michael D. Moberly April 20, 2010
If you build a better mouse trap (tangible asset) the world will beat a path to your doorstep. In the knowledge-based economy, that time hnored cliche’ has given way to ‘if you build better knowledge paths (intangible assets) you will achieve sustainable value and long term competitive advantages’.
Below are some key knowledge paths for company management/leadership teams and boards to consider insofar as utilizing their intangible assets to sustain and build value and competitive advantages:
1. Avoid under-estimating, being dismissive, or neglectful about the contributory value of intangible assets. Learn how to identify and assess the intangibles your company produces and/or acquires and be alert to subtle, below-the-radar contributions intangibles make to particular processes and procedures that enhance such things as (company) brand, reputation, customer/client relationships, and overall efficiency. etc.
2. Take steps to protect and monitor the status, sustainability, defensibility, value, and risks to your company’s intangible assets. This is particularly important for those intangibles embedded with proprietary elements and which replication and/or imitation by a competitor would be quick and pose irreversible economic and competitive advantage affects.
3. Ensure agendas for the management/leadership team and board consistently include mandates to identify and assess any unrecognized or under-utilized intangibles. This should include exploring opportunities to license, buy, sell, trade, or apply the assets to strategic alliances. Ultimately, the objective is to ensure the assets are shared company-wide with the mandate to explore ways to utilize/combine them with existing assets to develop, enhance, exploit other products and services or otherwise achieve efficiciencies.