Five Steps To Better Management and Stewardship Of Your Company’s Intangible Assets!

Michael D. Moberly   August 26, 2008

Managing, stewarding, and monitoring your company’s intangible assets are not passive ‘I’ll do it when I have the time’ functions, or tasks that should necessarily be delegated (relegated) to the uninitiated who lack the requisite ‘fire in the belly’ understanding that 75+% of your company’s value, sources of revenue, and future wealth creation do, in fact, lie in – are directly linked to intangible assets, i.e., intellectual property, proprietary know how, competitive advantages, brand, reputation, goodwill, image, etc. 

Rather, those functions – tasks are akin to, if not, wholly, fidiciary responsibilities, which need not be extradordinarily time consuming or costly endeavors.  What is required however, is objective, critical, business thinking to (a.) learn what intangible assets are, (b.) examine the company’s internals through a different lens, (c.) consider how the assets (intangibles) can be (better) utilized, collaborated, and leveraged, and (d.) identify strategies which additional value may be extracted (from those assets).

For starters, this includes five relatively straightforward steps:

1. Conduct an initial assessment to identify and unravel each intangibles’ status, stability, fragility, value, sustainability, and linkages to producing-delivering-enhancing revenue and competitive advantages for your company!

2. Integrate knowledge – awareness programs about intangible assets throughout the company with linkages to training and evaluations!

3. Integrate ‘best practices’ to ensure the intangible assets that you identified as contributing to value and revenue are sustainable, that is, their value, control, use, and ownership are effectively protected and preserved!

4. Develop an ‘internal map’ of the company’s intangible assets, i.e., producers, location, value, linkages, contributions, status, and (a.) explore strategies (how) to better utilize, exploit, and leverage those assets through internal – external collaboration, and (b.) align those assets with the company’s strategic business plan!

5. Monitor (re-assess, re-evaluate, audit) processes related to (a.) sustaining (protecting, preserving) control, use, ownership, and value of the intangible assets, and (b.) identify gaps and/or lapses that should be addressed relative to extracting value!

(Adapted by Michael D. Moberly from ‘The Rising Star of the Chief Knowledge Officer’ by Nick Bontis, McMaster University, Ivey Business Journal, March/April, 2002)



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