Intangible Assets: It’s Essential Management Teams Know!

Michael D. Moberly    September 10, 2009

A critical, but routinely dismissed, overlooked, and undervalued aspect of ‘doing business’ today is the economic fact – business reality that intangible assets literally underlie – are embedded in most business operations and transactions.  But, intangibles (and their equally prominent cousins, i.e., intellectual capital, intellectual property, competitive advantages, brand, reputation, image, goodwill, etc.) are seldom consistent fixtures (guages) on the dashboards of management teams and business strategists. 

Evidence-based research unequivically finds that executed familiarity and insight regarding the identification and utilization of a company’s intangible assets will add numerous multipliers, i.e., value, credibility, and efficiencies, etc., by, among other things, complimenting functions and responsibilities throughout c-suites and boardrooms, especially CKO’s, CIO’s, CFO’s risk managers, IP counsel, and regulatory compliance processes (ala the growing universal application of Sarbanes-Oxley and FASB).

This added value, efficiencies, creditiblity and other multipliers produced will manifest themselves in other ways as well, one of which is greater management team emphasis on recognizing the absolute necessity of aligning (a company’s) intangible assets with the core business and its strategic planning.  But, there remain skeptics, so why is it that…

1.  One can probably pinpoint the precise time of day a desk stapler went missing or an email was sent, but remain absolutely clueless about the status, stability, defensibility, and location of 65+% of a  company’s value, sources of revenue, sustainability, and platforms for growth and expansion, i.e., intangible assets…

2. One is likely to entrust their company’s most valuable intangible assets, proprietary business practices, and even trade secrets to employees or individuals in which the primary communication is saying hi, goodbye, and thanks to at the office or photocopy store…

3. As a member of a company’s management team, initially learning the real-market value of misappropriated, compromised (infringed) intangible assets and intellectual property occurs when legal counsel is asked what their fees will be to try to get them back and recover their value and the competitive advantages they produced…

4. One assumes their company’s innovation is adequately protected merely because a patent has been issued or computer/IT security, non-disclosure and non-compete (employment) agreements are in place. Isn’t it time management teams became familiar with global data mining, business intelligence, and information brokering operations?  Or, just go to and see the company’s products, ideas, and competitive advantages in counterfeit-pirated form…



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