Intangible Assets: Presenting Believable Arguments…

Michael D. Moberly   October 20, 2009

Let’s face it, intangible assets are not always easy to articulate, to explain, or define for those unfamiliar with their existance or unaccustomed to recognizing (measuring) their contributions to a company’s value, revenue, and/or sustainability.  For them, intangible assets are, at first blush, likely to be perceived- interpreted more as esoteric and theoretcial concepts espoused in a university lecture hall absent ‘real world’ applicability.  After all, intangibles do lack physicality and there’s absolutely no conventional ‘bricks and mortar’ elements to be found.

Intangible asset professionals who spend time conducting briefings and awareness training for internal clients or prospective (external) clients must always be prepared to field an array of critical, and sometimes skeptical questions.  How those questions are answered of course, affects, as it does in any profession, the overall credibility of the intangible asset mission, i.e., to demonstrate better, smarter, and more effective techniques to utilize, manage, steward, and oversee (a company’s) intangible assets.

For some management teams and their directors and officers, there remains some skepticism about extending too much credibility to intangible assets.  That’s why its so important to bring as much (definitional, business, and economic) clarity as possible to conversations (presentations, briefings, seminars) about intangible assets.  This includes clearly articulating what intangible assets are, what they’re not, the various forms they take, and equally important, how, and when they are effectively applied, they can lay necessary foundations to boost a company’s value, revenue, and sustainability.

Ironically, in the midst of this economic downturn, conventional wisdom would suggest management teams and boards would be more receptive to considering – examining (new, different, but) viable options put before them that purported to elevate their company’s potential for successfully weathering the recession.

In that regard, and respectfully, its challenging for some management teams and boards to step outside their past practice comfort zones to critically examine/assess what they believe has worked best for them and their company previously.  Management teams and boards are, generally speaking, realists and therefore reluctant – skeptical about embracing an initiative that appears overly optimistic insofar as outcomes are concerned and/or espouses too much simplicity in its execution. 

Intangible assets are unique contributors to company value, revenue, sustainability, and future wealth creation!



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