Corporate Security Organizing Principles…all things intangible!

Organizing principles for any entity, should be…objectively grounded in horizonal realities, while recognizing, but not wholly reliant on previous, perhap anecdotal, experiences. Doing so, gives essential legitimacy to the cross-functional and multi-faceted complexities and phenomena which growing numbers of corporate security units are likely to have either direct or tangential responsibilities and input.

For these reasons, the primary, near term, and over-the-horizon (strategic) organizing principles for corporate security entities…are often extensions of (symbolize) the way forward looking security professionals and their employer (company) are obliged to conceptualize and build risk mitigation – defensive measures against conceivable risk phenomenon, i.e., acts, events, and circumstances (cyber and human).

More specifically, the organizing principles for a corporations security-asset protection units are often influenced by…the various ways directors conceive-interpret-assess their respective contributory roles and value (past, present day, and future) often along the lines of as identifying, mitigating, and thwarting the materialization of the growing spectrum of sector specific and asymmetric risks.

For an untold percentage of directors of corporate security…the important process of conceptualizing how, when, where, to whom, and precisely what their units contributory role and value is to the corporation at large will likely be framed as a mission statement.

Corporate security directors who have the privilege of…developing their mission  statement will find it prudent to acknowledge the…

  • asymmetry and keystroke speeds which risks can materialize, cascade, and multiply throughout an enterprise.
  • risks adverse effects on the contributory role and value of key – strategic intangible assets, ala reputation, brand, morale, culture, etc.

For these reasons, it is essential corporate security mission statements acknowledge the…

  • unarguable – irreversible economic fact that today, and for the foreseeable future, 80+% of most company’s value, revenue generation, competitive advantage, and sustainability lie in – evolve directly from intangible assets, primarily in the form of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital. 

This, of course, translates as growing percentages of businesses are…operationally speaking, already, or soon will be, intangible asset intensive and dependent.  The dynamics of this economic transition, i.e., from the tangible to the intangible, should be clearly conveyed in any corporate security mission statement today, as it will affect who, what, when, where, and how security acts and reacts.

More specifically, mitigating the…keystroke speeds which the frequently targeted risks materialize, multiply, cascade, and mutate, are now, in many instances, the defining attributes of today’s chief security officer, i.e., CSO.  To be sure, my framing business operations and the attendant risks as go fast, go hard, go global and keystroke speeds is not hyperbole! 

CSO’s are obliged to decipher – distinguish the dynamics of…business transactions, initiatives, R&D, and new market entries, etc., relative to the types-categories of (company) intangible assets, i.e., intellectual, structural, relationship capital, etc., that will be in play.  The answer to that particular question is, not surprisingly, usually ‘all three’. The more challenging issue is recognizing what – how is the most effective way to safeguard – mitigate the inevitable risks that (may, will) emerge and if or when to do so?

Those of us engaged in safeguarding – mitigating risks to proprietary intangible assets…know, sometimes, all too well, that timing can be a critical component to any transaction, perhaps more so when intangible assets are routinely in play and integral factors to a transactions’ negotiation and outcome!

The risks I am referring to, with respect to intangible assets…are those which can destabilize – devalue – disrupt the projected momentum  and/or outcome of a transaction.  At best, consistently recognizing risks to intangibles is no simple task…

  • for starters, this requires having maximum operational familiarity with the intangible asset side of a business and timely analysis of (inevitable) risks,
  • which means understanding the contributory roles of the various intangible assets in play to a specific transaction, project, collaboration, etc., and
  • recognizing – assessing the probability of, vulnerability to, criticality, and potential-probably ‘cascading effects’ produced by particular risks, when-if (should) they materialize.

Doing this, corporate security organizing principles can symbolize…the strength and economic (lucrative, competitive) relevancy of all things intangible!

Michael D. Moberly April 16, 2019 St. Louis [email protected], the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, 650+ blog posts published, read in 137+ countries, ‘where one’s attention span, intangible assets, and solutions converge’!

Readers are invited to explore other published blog posts, video, and position papers at

As always, readers comments are most welcome!




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