Michael D. Moberly, Business Intangible Asset Strategist – December 31, 2023

As a business intangible asset strategist and risk mitigator, I am not an admirer of convention-laden axioms which imprudently – virtuously characterize paths to (business) success necessarily include…

  • “Take risks, don’t be afraid to make mistakes…” (attributed to David Packard).
  • “I have not failed, rather, I have found 10,000 ways that won’t…” (Thomas Alva Edison)
  • “You don’t learn to walk by following rules, you learn by…” (Richard Branson)
  • “We get very little wisdom from success we get more wisdom from…” (William Saroyan)

Perhaps more so today, the consequences of imprudent (business) risk taking and/or mistake making, can rapidly translate as entrées and/or opportunities for the nefarious to exploit.

Exploitation can occur asymmetrically- at keystroke speeds at the will – timing of the nefarious by introducing questions and/or doubts of (business management) reputation. Frequently, these are preludes to undermining brand (product, service, standing) attractivity, valuation, competitiveness, and durability – sustainability of future revenue generation.

When these (and similar) consequences materialize, they can rapidly translate to undermining brand (product, service) attractivity, valuation, revenue generation capability, competitiveness, and sustainability.  particular – types of risk to emerge within an operating culture.

There should be little argument that business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors across sectors, are (fiduciarily) obliged to consider, irrespective of…

  • business) size, stage of development, sales, location, products, services, and/or standing.

 Today, and for the foreseeable future, the capabilities of ideological, economic, and competitive adversaries to nefariously deliver reputational risks and harms @ will – @ keystroke speeds with intensity and immediate effects that can cascade throughout value chains and operating cultures, is incomparable.

Axioms which variously describe risk taking – mistaking making as obligatory and admirable providing ‘the failures are not interpreted as habits’, rather mere or temporary detours, hence stepping-stones for learning. (Attributed to Zig Ziglar, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Eisner, and William A. Ward)

It’s instructive to juxtapose the presumably well-intended axioms (above) which variously encourage risk taking and mistake making, to Benjamin Franklin’s assertion that “by failing to prepare, one is actually preparing to fail”.

As Business Intangible Asset Blog, I do not encourage

  • risk taking – mistake making being portrayed as preludes, crucial paths to, or indispensable learning tools for, succeeding.
  • experiential deliberation, prudence, risk avoidance, or mitigation of (business risk) vulnerability, probability, and criticality translate as unnecessary, momentum stifling, or costly cautions, ala forms-contexts of “failure by default” (attributed to JK Rowling)

Today, the consequences of imprudent risk taking mistake making frequently translate to/for the nefarious, as…

  • entrées to introduce risk. This is a phenomenon which business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors irrespective of size, sales, stage, sector, location, products, services, and/or standing are (fiduciarily) obliged to consider.

More relevant ‘axioms’ leading to sustainable business successes, lie in – emerge from these business economic – operational realities, i.e.,

  1. 70 – 80+% of most business’s valuation, competitiveness, revenue generation capability, capacity, and sustainability today is directly attributable to intangible (non-physical) assets which have likely been developed internally, held proprietarily or as IP, and embedded in operating culture. Intangibles | BrookingsUnseen Wealth: Report of the Brookings Task Force on Intangibles on JSTORIntangible Assets: Computers and Organizational Capital | Brookings
  2. Business intangible asset dependency – reliance exists across sectors, transactions, projects, and initiatives irrespective of (business) size, stage of development, sales, products, services, or location. Boom of Intangible Assets Felt Across Industries and Economy – UCLA Anderson Review

Today, reputational risk materialization can immediately and adversely affect the valuation, competitiveness, revenue generation capability, and sustainability of businesses ‘mission essential’ intangible assets.

As consistently argued here, risks which adversely affect business ‘mission essential’ intangibles which most businesses now rely and depend, need not be inevitable, nor un-mitigatable, but are more costly and less recoupable.

The Business Intangible Asset Blog was created in 2006 and now includes 1100+ topic specific posts intended to provide readers, ala business leaders, management teams, R&D administrators, boards, and investors, etc., with reliable insights to the application, valuation, competitiveness, revenue generation, and sustainability contributions of intangible assets.

Posts at Business Intangible Asset Blog are intended to draw attention to the development, application, management, safeguards, and risk mitigation of business’s ‘mission essential’ intangible assets.

kpstrat is a Business Intangible Asset Strategy – Risk Mitigation Collaborative.

Readers of this post are respectfully invited to explore other – similar posts, along with books, pamphlets, and papers available @ ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ and kpstrat.com.

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