Using Intangible Assets To Weather The Recession – Part II

Michael D. Moberly   March 17, 2009    (Part 2 of 5 Part Post)

When you’re up to your hips in alligators…

I seek not, in any sense, to portray this recession in a comedic context when I say, engaging decision makers now in discussions about intangible assets, is frequently interpreted as one of those ‘when you’re up to your hips in alligators you may have forgotten the original goal was to drain the pond’ situations. 



In other words, some decision makers’ are expressing less inclination (receptivity) about the management, stewardship, and oversight of the intangible assets their company has developed and/or acquired, e.g., seeking clarity for:


 1.   identifying, unraveling, assessing, and valuing their intangible assets


 2.  sustaining control, use, ownership, and value of the assets, 


 3.   leveraging and extracting value from those assets even when their company may well be

facing financial calamity. 
Some decision makers still do not attach priority to their company’s intangibles, or find it a worthy use of (their) time (when they’re up to their hips in alligators) to engage – reflect on intangible assets and consider how to leverage – extract (additional) value from them.  This is interesting when considered in light of the economic fact – business reality that 65+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and future wealth creation and sustainability lie in – are directly linked to intangible assets, i.e., intellectual property, brand, reputation, image, goodwill, know how, etc.


It is for that reason then, that I say, now may be the perfect time for c-suites, D&O’s, and business unit managers to seriously dig into the intangible assets their companies have produced or acquired.  Now is the time to begin to figure out how those assets can be better managed, utilized, leveraged, and positioned to extract the tremendous value they often hold to try to mitigate the adversities of the recession versus assuming a ‘fire sale’ mentality, i.e., selling those assets under highly distressed conditions at perhaps a fraction of their value, or worse, ceasing to exist because one assumed no other viable (less lethal) options were available.



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