Unlocking the Value of Intangible Assets…

Michael D. Moberly, Principal, Founder, kpstrat

Business leadership (across sectors) are routinely conveying more receptivity and inclination to recognize their obligations to business things intangible, i.e.,

  1. differentiate (assess) mission + brand essential intangible assets, and
  2. develop ethically + lucratively exploit, safeguard, and otherwise unlock those assets collective – collaborative contributory roles, value, competitive advantages, and revenue generating capabilities.

Business things intangible routinely emerge, manifest, and exist in various forms, contexts, uses, and (business) operating cultures,

  • also, business things intangible routinely develop, are embedded with, and underwritten by evolving (seldom static) inputs of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, ala the primary indices of intangible assets.

Initially, (routinely) during my early professional development regarding business things intangible, as a strategist and risk specialist, leaders – management teams frequently conveyed conventional disinterest and conjured views to needlessly challenge…

  1. the economic fact that 80+/-% of most businesses value, revenues, and competitiveness were wholly reliant on the development and exploitation of business things intangible, and
  2. the operational reality that businesses, across sectors, were indeed becoming – were already in-the-midst of ‘intangible asset dependency and intensity’.

Not infrequently, it was evident, business things intangible may be dismissed, neglected, and/or overlooked by leadership, relative to counsel rooted in conventional (asset) accounting rules and/or intellectual property processes which appeared reluctant to reflect – accommodate (business) intangible asset intensity and dependency.

It was my judgement then, and remains so, there are no relevant counters to these largely irreversible business operation realities, other than the presumed simplicity of convention which is likely to be unsustainable and progressively less lucrative and competitive.

I am not aware of (alternative) silver bullets cure all’, nor one size fits all (easily duplicated, integrated, and applied) templates for reconciling this, absent genuinely achieving operational-level interest in + familiarity with businesses (current, on-the-horizon, over-the-horizon) intangible assets.

A prudent starting point for recognizing same as on-going fiduciary obligations, emerges not from risk adverse lawyerly contentions or accounting conventions, instead by merely endeavoring to recognize,

  • the irreversible relevance of the origins, sources, and contributions to most business’s value, revenue, and future wealth creation have changed (irreversibly) from tangible (physical) assets to intangible (non-physical) assets = operational intangible asset intensity and dependency.

Hence, an obligatory requisite to – for sustaining business value, revenue generation capability + capacity, product – service competitiveness, brand, and innovation lies in foresight, ability, and determination to (1.) seek, (2.) assess, (3.) acquire, (4.) develop, (5.) safeguard, (6.) mobilize + exploit,, and (7.) execute business things intangible.

Respectfully, experience suggests for some, business things intangible, may variously remain…

  • presumptively taken for granted insofar as (asset) replacement, replenishment, renewability, and speed of acquisition and development of new, and therefore, may be
  • perhaps inadvertently, become stagnant, whereby the value and competitiveness of essential business things intangible meld into open sources for sector competitors to acquire, manipulate for their benefit, and exploit.

My experiences as indicators, when this occurs, its likely (probable, inevitable) those assets will be rendered…

  • less competitive, less valuable, and less recognized vis-a-vis their individual, collective, and collaborative contributory role(s) to their original, perhaps rightful holder.


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