Business Leaders Are Obliged To Recognize The Relevance of Intangible Assets…

Professionally, I assume multiple objectives – responsibilities…as an intangible asset strategist, trainer, and risk specialist, throughout engagements with business clients, two key ones are…

  1. ensuring the rationales I convey to business leadership and management teams for achieving operational familiarity of their intangible assets resonate, on their terms and in their context, and
  2. explaining the contributory role, value, and relevance, of intangible assets to their products, services, initiatives, and transactions they may engage, in contexts of competitiveness, revenue, value, and sustainability.

Experience suggests, there are other business concepts and practices less challenging to…operationalize for business than the contributory role and value of intangible assets. Especially to business persons who have no prior, or hold only an introductory familiarity with intangibles…

  • either, often translates as being unaccustomed to distinguishing and exploiting assets, intangible and otherwise,
  • insofar as recognizing and assessing their contributory role and value to a specific project, initiative, or transaction.

Over the past 20+ years,  I have learned some of the challenges conveyed above…are variously related to the obscure, almost cryptic, and somewhat off-putting language used to describe the contributory role and value intangibles play in business operational contexts, e.g., they

  • are non-physical ‘things’ with no set monetary value.
  • lack conventional sense of physicality, and
  • assessing and monitoring intangibles’ role, value, and performance in – to a company, using conventional (accounting) methodologies, seldom ‘paint a comprehensive portrait’ of a company’s state’.

Admittedly and unfortunately, their remain numerous business leaders who still perceive and interpret intangible assets practices as being…

  • largely theoretical.
  • absent practical (business operation) relevance, and
  • best espoused in university lecture halls.

Yes, intangible assets do lack physicality, that is, they bear no ’brick and mortar’ (tangible) components…

  • nor are they readily amenable to conventional methods of measurement, management, valuation, and accounting, which
  • collectively makes their operational explanation and rationale variously murky and perhaps suspect.

I find some business leaders and management teams, even though they have invited me to lead conversations about their intangible assets…occasionally find it personally-professionally challenging to step outside their ‘past practice’ comfort zones and their formative b-school curricula to actively engage the intangibles, regardless of their receptivity.

For some business leaders, finding motivation and rationale to…consider more current and over-the-horizon alternatives compared to past practice, frequently gets mired in…why should we change now, how this company has functioned to date, seems to have worked nicely, thank you very much!

Business leadership are generally and prudently driven by a strong sense of pragmatism…insofar as meeting quarterly objectives and achieving returns-on-investment, and are also quick to exercise risk aversion when either of the aforementioned appears to be in jeopardy.

These operational characteristics and behaviors, while admirable and often rewarded accordingly…also contribute to mindful skepticism about embracing practices which depart from their norm.

Still, the objectives are clear…articulate what intangible assets are, what they aren’t, the various forms they take, and depending on how and when they’re effectively applied and exploited…

  • can and routinely do lay valuable and strategic foundations to elevate a company’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantages, market position, and sustainability.

Intangible asset strategists and risk specialists, in-the-course of conducting seminars, delivering training, and/or presenting small group briefings…are obliged to respectfully advise company-business leadership it is in their interests to…

  • acquire, develop, and have at the ready, a repertoire of expertise regarding intangible assets.!designed to proactively address issues and risks which can rapidly materialize particularly in business environments where intangible asset intensive and dependent which indeed become the norm, not the exception.

After all, it is an irrefutable, irreversible, and globally universal economic fact today, and for the foreseeable future…that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, growth potential, and sustainability lie in – directly emerge from intangible assets!

Michael D. Moberly June 22, 2017 St. Louis [email protected], the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, 650+ blog posts published, ‘where one’s attention span, intangible assets, and solutions converge’!

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

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