Intangible Assets Business Lexicon

Michael D. Moberly   December 30, 2015   ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’.

An oft cited reference about contemporary American labor and today’s increasingly consumer driven-dependent economics is that fewer among us are employed in positions where we actually make-produce something in its entirety. While there are obvious truisms to this perspective, it’s essential to acknowledge most of us do contribute to product-service completion and outcomes but, through individual, collective, and/or collaborative inputs of our intellectual, creative, relationship and structural capital, i.e., the foundational IA’s (intangible assets)!

There has indeed been a shift in the origins of organization value, income (revenue), creativity, and competitiveness, etc., from milieus of physical – tangible assets to interwoven and collaborative bundles of non-physical, IA’s. To be sure, for IA intensive and dependant businesses, it is no longer a foregone conclusion that those with the most buildings, the biggest machines, and the most employees will win! Similarly, higher percentages of organizations today would be hard pressed to validate any perception they still function exclusively on the inertia of past – pre-IA era practices.

The ascension of IA’s in business value and output commenced in the late 1990’s as the knowledge – know how era with its foundation of intellectual, structural, relationship, and creative capital were becoming irreversibly evident. In other words, IA’s were increasingly integral to business operability and there was no foreseeable ‘bubble’ to the knowledge era. Competitiveness, efficiency, and profitability were descriptive terms rapidly being associated the growing number of businesses that legitimately are IA reliant and dependent.

During this time, two extraordinarily influential and parallel research projects were underway, i.e., New York University’s, Intangibles Research Project and The Brookings Institutions’ Task Force on Intangibles (Unseen Wealth). Both projects were similarly focused on unraveling confirmatory evidence that organization value, sources of revenue, and competitiveness were indeed originating in non-physical (intangible) assets at such a rapid pace they (IA’s) were usurping the conventional dominance of physical (tangible) assets as the exclusive underwriter to business profitability and sustainability.

Also, confirming and often preceding research conducted-published by UK and EU (European Union) universities and institutions made substantial contributions to bringing IA’s into the vestibule of business lexicon. Initial estimates at the time were that 50+/-% of organization value and sources of revenue derived from IA’s.

Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014.

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