The Walking Dead

October 2, 2012 by · Comments Off 

part 4 of the “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” series

In the intangible capital version of Joni Mitchell’s lyric, it’s sometimes easiest to understand how intangible capital works by illustrating what happens when it’s “gone.” This month, I’ll describe the fourth* of these called “The Walking Dead.”

Teams or companies with this syndrome are missing the human capital they need to succeed. They fail to hire the right people. They fail to retain the right people. Or, all too often, they lay off the right people for the wrong reasons. Read more

The Starving Dreamers

September 18, 2012 by · Comments Off 

part 3 of the “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” series

In the intangible capital version of Joni Mitchell’s lyric, it’s sometimes easiest to understand how intangible capital works by illustrating what happens when it’s “gone.” This month, I’ll describe the third* of these called “The Starving Dreamers.” Read more

The Lone Rangers

September 3, 2012 by · Comments Off 

  part 2 of the “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” series

In the intangible capital version of Joni Mitchell’s lyric, it’s sometimes easiest to understand how intangible capital works by illustrating what happens when it’s “gone.” This month, I’ll describe the second* of these called “The Lone Rangers.” Read more

The Exhausted Improvisors

July 20, 2012 by · Comments Off 

part 1 of the “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” series

In the intangible capital version of Joni Mitchell’s lyric, it’s sometimes easiest to understand how intangible capital works by illustrating what happens when it’s “gone.” Over the coming months, I will examine four syndromes caused by intangible capital weaknesses. This month, I’ll describe the first of these called “The Exhausted Improvisors.”

Teams or companies with this syndrome re-invent the wheel every day.  Instead of creating tools to get their work done more efficiently, they improvise. Different people do the same task in different ways. There’s no system that ensures that work gets done in the fastest, most efficient and most effective way. So they muddle through using all their energy to solve today’s crises rather than creating repeatable systems and processes. Read more

Shut up and listen

June 6, 2012 by · Comments Off 

I just finished a string of springtime presentations. I always learn a lot from interaction with the audience. But this month I learned an especially exciting lesson from my talk on corporate intangible capital at the CEO Club of Boston where I presented this graphic: Read more

RepuStars and Beyond

November 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Congrats to friend and colleague from IAFS Nir Kossovsky on the November 1 launch of the  RepuStars® Variety Corporate Reputation Index by Dow Jones Indexes.

Increased attention to reputation is good for anyone interested in intangible capital management like I am.

Why is this?

People often think of reputation as tightly linked to marketing. Getting the message right is certainly part of the challenge. But no amount of  effective messaging will make up for a poorly run company.

How do you get a good reputation? By managing your company well. And since 80% of the value of the average company today is intangible, managing your company well equals managing your intangibles well. And you can’t manage intangibles by keeping them mysterious and intangible–you do it by having in place measurement and management practices that enable you to get it right: Read more

Bill Simmons shows his ignorance about the definition of intellectual capital

October 21, 2011 by · 33 Comments 

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I follow the terms intellectual capital and intangible capital on Twitter and the web (and I highly recommend that you do the same for the search terms related to your expertise).

This morning there is a storm of comments on Twitter about a Bill Simmons post about the NBA negotiations where he says:

I don’t trust the players’ side to make the right choices, because they are saddled with limited intellectual capital. (Sorry, it’s true.) The owners’ side can’t say the same; they should be ashamed. Same for the agents.

I wouldn’t question Bill Simmons on much but I will call him to task on his use of the term intellectual capital. Read more

The Intangible Drivers of Business Value

September 30, 2011 by · Comments Off 

I was thrilled this month to have the opportunity to give a webinar for Business Valuation Resources on intangibles. I showed the audience the usual slides I often use to show the growth in intangibles in our economy.

The lessons for valuation professionals is two fold:

  1. They will be valuing many more intangibles as stand-alone assets in the future
  2. But they should already be considering the intangible drivers of corporate value NOW

My talk focused on the second point. Read more

Can you afford the risk? Sarbannes Oxley, Duty of Oversight and Intangible Capital

June 2, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Anderson Kill has a new article out called The SOX IP Imperative (thanks to Gabe Fried at Streambank for pointing it out).

Authors Gina Hough and Kanishka Argawala make a clear argument about the need for companies to pay greater attention to their intangible assets.

I usually talk about the strategic advantages of such a strategy (and growth, innovation and corporate value that can result). But there is an equally strong risk argument to be made and Sarbannes-Oxley (SOX) is one of the factors influencing this argument. Directors’ duty of oversight that Cathy Reese at Fish & Richardson has pointed out to us before is another factor. Read more

The Coloplast Experiment

April 25, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Here is one of my favorite examples of the value of greater transparency around intangibles.

This experiment was performed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Corporate Reporting practice a number of years ago. It used involved creating two versions of an annual report of Coloplast, a Danish company recognized as a  leader in corporate reporting.

  • The first was an original version of the Coloplast annual report. In addition to the normal information in an average annual report (financial statements, narrative, and a few key metrics), this report included extensive  quantified non-financial indicators to make a clear link between its strategy and its financial performance.
  • The second version of the annual report stripped out the quantified non-financial data. The stripped-down report was still richer in detail than the annual reports provided by most companies in the market. But the  critical non-financial metrics were missing.

Two groups of analysts reviewed the different reports. The conclusions were striking.  Read more

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