Business Resilience Intangible Assets…

Michael D. Moberly

This post is intended to…serve as a guide for business leadership to achieve a rapid and more complete recovery, with mission essential IA’s (intangible assets) reasonably intact for the duration of a business disruption and/or risk materialization.

Achieving a sustainable state…of business) operating resilience, (1.) immediately preceding, (2.) following, and (3.) for the duration of a significant business disruption, ala risk, is, to be sure, a multi-layered undertaking for the growing percentage of businesses which are, in fact, economically and competitively, IA intensive and dependent. (Thanks to the fine work of Dr. Mark Siegel and the newly adopted American National Standard on Organizational Resilience.)

Developing a plan to achieve business – organization resilience…for 2020 and beyond, it’s obligatory to be mindful of the economic fact that,

  • 80+% of most business’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantage, and sustainability originate – exist in various applications of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital i.e., IA’s.

For starters, I am not a proponent of…the adage occasionally applied to large military (combat) operations that infer the best laid plans are relevant only until the first shot is fired. (Attributed to Gen. Tommy Franks, Commander, US Central Command, on or about August 2, 1990, upon commencing the Gulf War.). I have no insight whether Gen. Franks, a superb military tactician and strategist, actually believed that perspective, or whether the phrase was uttered with respectful deference to CENTCOM’s months’ of preparatory planning leading up to what would come to be referred (in U.S. parlance) as the first Gulf war.

Adherents to that, or similar perspectives…in my judgement, convey dismissiveness to the advantages of planning, especially those emanating from well-honed and embedded IA’s, i.e.,

  • training
  • institutional memory
  • operational culture, and
  • mindful (intellectual, emotional) preparation, etc., which collectively,
    • give countenance to, what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, asrisks materialize.

For those reasons, I respectfully encourage readers to (1.) consider business IA risk resiliency as an investment in business sustainability and (2.) recognize complacency toward IA (risk) resiliency, less arguably now, is a predictor of a business’s sustainability – longevity, should either be a desired objective.

The good thing is, achieving business IA risk resilience is doable. An important starting point for doing so, in my judgement, lies with leadership and management teams having (1.) the relevant foresight and will, to (2.) seek/secure operational familiarity with their business’s mission essential IA’s, which (3.) my experiences suggest, will be targeted, exposed, and vulnerable when particular risks – disruptions materialize and cascade throughout enterprises.

I am confident readers agree…there are multifaceted fiduciary responsibilities – obligations to leading/managing IA intensive and dependent businesses. Two important ones are (1.) anticipating and mitigating risk to business things intangible, and (2.) distinguishing when and where doing so, is necessary to assure business operability is sufficiently resilient to various and relevant risks and/or disruptions, should (when) they materialize.  

Identifying – assessing risk to mission essential IA’s include,

  • recognizing IA vulnerability (attractivity, receptivity) to specific risks,
  • distinguishing the probability (prospects) that particular risk(s) will materialize, target, and adversely affect mission essential IA’s,
  • acknowledging the criticality (adverse impact) to business operation, should particular-risks materialize, and, cascade.
  • executing relevant risk mitigation measures to thwart and, perhaps most importantly, (rapidly) recover from business disruption (risk) events, with the – all mission essential IA’s reasonably intact.

More to come on this important and certainly timely business issue.

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