Transaction Expediency: Don’t Overlook Intangible Assets In Play

Michael D. Moberly, Founder – Principal, kpstrat‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’

Not infrequently, transactions fortuitously emerge or are conceived via forward looking-thinking strategizing, e.g., a proposal to buy-sell-invest-M&A-license, etc., a sense of urgency and momentum surfaces, for a host of reasons.

Of course, transactions can also materialize via assessment of micro-macro events, actions, behaviors, or even suggestive utterances which are duly analyzed and motivate a transaction developer – strategist and perhaps investors to come forward, ala converge.

As a business intangible asset strategies and risk mitigator, I encourage parties, in the early stages of transaction thinking – framing – developing, etc., to ensure ‘objective portraits are being painted’ relative to the intangible assets which inevitably, will be in play and whose ‘wholeness’ (pre-post transaction execution) are ‘mission essential’.

Such surety need not ‘slow transaction momentum. Instead, mindfully differentiating – unraveling – safeguarding the ‘mission intangible’ assets in play translates as risk mitigation in this context…

  • today, and for the foreseeable future, parties to every transaction are (fiduciarily) obliged to consider – factor 70-80+/-% of most business’s valuation, reputation, sources of revenue, future wealth creation potential, and sustainability, etc., derive from business things intangible, irrespective of sector, size, stage of maturation, or location.

More specifically, each aspect – component of a (proposed) transaction is obliged to include experientially sound capabilities – processes to reveal – unravel – recognize – distinguish – assess ‘mission essential’ intangible assets which are relevant to – necessary for negotiating – achieving a desired outcome, ala lucrative, competitive, sustainable, and reasonably free from being challenged.  

I describe ‘mission essential’ intangible assets as various forms, contexts, and applications of unique – often proprietarily developed (1.) intellectual capital, (thought, knowledge, know how, expertise), (2.) structural capital (processes, procedure, operations) and (3.) relationship capital (associations, connections, affiliations, rapport) which collectively – collaboratively converge as (4.) attractive, competitive, and lucrative operating cultures…each variously essential to the viability – sustainability of a desired outcome.

Far-to-often, however, the ‘mission essentiality’ of particular-intangible assets fall under ‘the conventional business radar – dash-boards’ which translates as being overlooked, under-valued, and vulnerable, etc., to…

  • various asymmetric and momentum stifling and costly risks, most-of-which are deliverable @ will – @ keystroke speeds.
  • undermine – devalue projects, transactions, reputations, brands, and adversely cascade throughout an enterprise irrevocably with few prudent options to recoup.

Not infrequently, dramatizing transaction expediency – urgency, can be a prelude to ‘hemorrhaging’ key (competitive advantage, revenue producing) intangible assets ‘which favorably influence the attractivity – viability – sustainability’ of a transaction and its outcome, vs. those assets walking-out-the-front-door into the hands of competitors regionally – globally.


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