Business’s ‘Mission Essential’ Intangible Assets…

Michael D. Moberly, Principal – Founder, kpstrat – ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’

For 2+ decades, I have experientially described business’s intangible assets as circumstances in which they are recognized and purposefully developed from various forms, contexts, and applications of…

  1. intellectual capital = thought, discussion, knowledge, planning, know how, expertise, strategy, and institutional memory.
  2. structural capital = known-to-work (tested – testable) business-product-service specific processes, procedures, techniques, practices, and/or methodologies.
  3. relationship capital = associations, connections, affiliations, and rapport exhibited – conveyed by business leaders, management teams, boards, and investor.

This post (and other posts @ Business Intangible Asset Blog), describe business leadership, management, board oversight, and investment to include obligations to designate particular – intangible assets as ‘mission essential’ which among other things entails, distinguishing, assessing, and measuring…

  • when, where, why particular assets are, often by design, intended to converge – be applied (individually, collectively, collaboratively), and how much they contribute to…
  • differentiating (perhaps advancing) a business specific product, service, brand, and underlie – embed in operating cultures, with the intent that doing so will,
  • render either (sustainably) more attractive, competitive, and lucrative, e.g., the desired – intended outcome of introducing – applying the right intangible assets, at the right time, in the right way, at the right cost.

Unfortunately, for various (often convention-laden) reasons-rationales, business things intangible in general, and ‘mission essential’ intangible assets, in-particular, are overlooked, dismissed, un-or-under-valued, not safeguarded, nor relevant risks mitigated.

In many instances, these, and other oversights, translate – materialize, and Cascade throughout a business, as messaging – perspectives that business assets which happen-to-be intangible, not specifically physical or tangible, may unfortunately, be…

  • taken-for-granted without acknowledgement or distinction for their contributory roles and value-adds, i.e., people-employee developed forms of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital which converge as operating culture.

Too, seldom do intangible assets, ‘mission essential’ or otherwise, are integrated in or appear on conventional business management – investment radars.

Hence, the on-going relevance, contributory roles, and value-adds produced-delivered by (often) proprietarily developed – held, and distinctively applied assets which are intangible, to…

  1. a business-product-service-brand competitive advantage, valuation, revenue generation capability-capacity, sustainability, a buy-sell-license transaction, or serve as reliable underliers to-for investors,
  2. may be disadvantageously and detrimentally overlooked by ‘one party’ to the benefit and advantage of ‘another party’.

Yet today, it is, and for the foreseeable future will remain, a business economic truth and business operation reality that

  • 70-80+/-% of most businesses valuation – competitive advantage – revenue generation capability-capacity, and sustainability (irrespective of sector, stage of maturation, annual revenues, or location, etc.) derive directly from things intangible, not tangible.

More specifically, businesses, products, services, etc., across sectors are increasingly and irreversibly intangible asset intensive, dependent, and reliant. As such, represent objective predictors of – strategies for, and contributors to valuation, revenue generation capability-capacity, resilience, competitive advantage, and sustainability which (fiduciary) obligations apply to recognize.


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