Folding intangible asset expertise into professional service firms (PSF’s) repertoire…will legitimately stimulate business clients to lucratively and competitively engage their intangible assets.
Reluctance and/or hesitancy to engage a company’s IA’s…is attributed in large part, at least, in the U.S, to limited opportunities for business leadership and management teams to acquire the necessary (operational) familiarity with intangible assets to confidently and consistently engage and exploit them at strategic-decision making levels. The absence of opportunity includes university coursework, wherein, intangible assets, for various reasons, still largely elude many MBA, business, and law school curricula.
It’s instructive also, to recognize various rationales for business leadership and management teams to exhibit reluctance to engage their intangible assets…which is frequently conveyed as…
- skepticism about outcomes and/or returns.
- concern that doing so would be (too) disruptive to a company’s
operating culture and processes
- satisfaction with – wish to not disturb established current – past practice.
Having made numerous presentations to business majors and law school students, and faculty…I can attest to the fact that many of their follow-up questions and comments suggest the preparatory familiarity and research regarding intangible assets is often rooted in contexts of conventional accounting practices, i.e., rules and regulations.
Treating intangible assets solely through the highly structured and rules oriented lens of conventional accounting and valuation…which give little or no credence to the…
- globally universal economic fact that 80+% of most companies’ value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, and sustainability today lie in – emerge directly from intangible assets.
For business leaders who secede credibility of this irreversible economic fact…it leaves little incentive to consider – examine intangible assets in (a.) their natural contributory role, value, revenue generation, and competitive contexts or, (b.) as the natural impetus to create competitive advantages, new sources of revenue, value, and efficiencies, etc.
It is little wonder then, entrepreneurs, business strategists, venture capitalists, and decision makers, devote much of their…time, attention, and resources to pursuing – solidifying a presumptive IP (intellectual property) side to their business, i.e., patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Their assumption is IP is the dominant, if not, the only strategy for innovation conversion, revenue production, creating leverage, competitive advantage, and business sustainability.
Notably absent from IP dominance strategies is…recognition that all paths leading to intellectual property, are paved with contributory, inter-twined, and collaborative intangible assets, i.e., various forms of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital.
When I conduct seminars-presentations regarding the contributory role and value of intangible assets it’s rewarding to witness practitioners…
- consider engaging the intangible asset side of their business, perhaps for the first time.
- recognize their business has produced and embedded valuable and competitive intangible assets in its products and/or services.
- realize they have overlooked or their business operation familiarity falls short of extending credence to intangible assets’ lucrative – sustainable exploitation.
For these and other reasons, these presentations – seminars elevates practical interest in intangibles and perhaps not-so-coincidentally, high demand-attendance.
To be sure, there is no inference here suggesting companies-businesses operationally unfamiliar with their intangible assets…will never become successful, profitable, or sustainable without first thoroughly and consistently engaging their intangible assets.
My experiential observations, however, do indicate…that in numerous instances, if-when a company achieves success financially, or otherwise, such success will likely occur at a slower pace and unnecessarily incur various starts, stops, re-starts, wrong turns, missteps, miscues, and missed opportunities. Some missteps can be clearly and legitimately attributed to…
• operational unfamiliarity how to exploit and safeguard their intangible assets.
• holding conventional and misleading assumptions about when, where, and how company value, revenue, and competitive advantage originate.
To draw a finer point on this issue…my experiences as an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist do indicate company leadership who exhibit indifference to – neglect their internally developed intangible assets, this becomes fertile ground for…
• reputation – brand risks to materialize, and
• employee disenchantment influenced by confusing, redundant, and/or cross purposed use of intellectual, relationship, structural, and creative capital, thereby contributing little, if any value, revenue, competitive advantage, or sustainability to a company.
Michael D. Moberly July 19, 2017 St. Louis [email protected] the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, 650+ published posts, read in 137 countries, ‘where one’s attention span, businesses intangible assets, and solutions converge’!
Readers are invited to explore more blog posts, position papers, video, and books at https://kpstrat.com/blog