Intangible Assets: How Management Teams Can Unlock Their Value…

Michael D. Moberly   January 8, 2010

It’s surely a fiduciary responsibility of the new decade.  But, there is no (proverbial) silver bullet, nor a one size fits all approach (template) for companies and management teams to commence unlocking and putting to use the value of their intangible assets.  A prudent starting point though is to accept the economic fact that (65+%) of the origins, sources, and contributions to most company’s value, revenue, and future wealth creation have changed from tangible (physical) assets to intangible assets.  In the global knowledge-based economies, that’s a business reality thats deeply embedded and irreversible. 

Today, a necessary requisite to company sustainability and success lies in management team’s ability and determination to not merely recognize, but mobilize those frequently and long overlooked resources which are of course, intangible assets.  Unfortunately, experience notes, intangibles are routinely (a.) taken for granted, (b.) inadvertently allowed to become stagnant or concealed, and (c.) in many instances, dismissed, neglected, and overlooked as potential and viable sources of value and revenue to companies.

However, as Weston Anson consistently states, as does the Cass Business School (UK) consistently emphasize in their research, the value of intangible assets depends upon – is related to how its used, in other words, the context.  This means, instead, each company management team must:

1. devote time to (finding) identifying and unraveling individual assets and/or clusters and chains of intangible assets…

2. assess each assets’ status, stability, fragility, and contributory value to the company relative to revenue, forward looking ‘building blocks’ for additional/future wealth creation, competitive advantage, and (company) sustainability.

In the near term, as is so often the case, progress in the ‘intangible asset arena’ is largely dependant on the forward thinking proclivity of management teams to become learned advocates (of intangibles) and recognize it as an effective tool-strategy to stimulate change, innovation, and improvements in their company’s by engaging and utilizing intangible assets.  Doing so today, is neither a ‘crap shoot’ nor overly fraught with risk, rather its merely being a prudent and intelligent manager who acknowledges and embraces the fiduciary responsibilities that underpin business success in this new decade!


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