Familiarity With Company Intangible Assets Can Produce Multipliers and Risk Mitigators For Companies!

Michael D. Moberly   March 24, 2009

All too frequently contributions’ intangible assets make to a company are overlooked, neglected, or outright dismissed, and sometimes obscured by the assets’ (a.) absence of physicality, and (b.) not knowing precisely where and how intangibles ‘fit’ on balance sheets.  With equal frequency, their proprietary and competitive advantage features go unrecognized and certainly undervalued, or not valued at all. 

In most company’s, intangible assets are akin to the proverbial ‘hand in front of our face’. That is, they’re often embedded in (a company’s) routine operations, processes, and functions that, in many instances, tend to fall under the conventional ‘mba – tangible (physical) asset oriented radar’.  Just as frequently, company’s engage in HR and/or othe types of business transactions in which the intangible asset components of those transactions go unnoticed and may never be effectively exploited.

So, why is it beneficial for company c-suite’s, board’s, D&O’s, business unit manager’s, etc., to acquire a familiarity with intangible assets and how will that familiarity produce (translate as) multiplier effects and risk mitigators?  The objective, of course, is to position – exploit a company’s intangible assets in order to extract as much value as possible by:

1. Adding predictabiliy to transaction outcomes by being able to recognize and assess the stability, fragility, sustainability, and defensibility of the assets and their relevance to achieving (a.) projected returns, (b.) competitive market position, (c.) anticipated synergies and efficiencies, and (d.) exit strategies, etc…

2. Elevating the insightful quality of transaction due diligence by recognizing how to rapidly identify and unravel (potentially) valuable – revenue producing assets…

3. Reducing the probability that intangible assets (and IP) will become entangled and/or ensnared in costly time consuming, and momentum stifling legal challenges that can erode and/or undermine asset value, performance, or competitive advantages…

4.  Contributing to building a ‘company culture’ that recognizes – is more attuned to intangible assets, their value, and contributions to sustainability and profitability by treating them as business decisions rather than solely legal processes…

5. Providing a foundation for more effective application of (a.) knowledge management initiatives, and (b.) balanced-scorecard approaches…

6. Providing a strong foundation for aligning continuity-contingency and risk management planning with strategic business objectives…

7. Strengthening the convergence of computer/IT security and intellectual property (protection) enforcements to achieve more timely awareness/pursuit of IP rights violations!


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