Holistic IC Management

June 13, 2012 by · Comments Off 

I have been increasingly coming to understand that one of the key implications of intangible capital theory is that knowledge should be managed holistically. This morning I shared that thought on Twitter and had @JoannaHiggins ask, “what does that mean in practice?

I tried to answer in 140 characters but couldn’t do it yet. So here’s a longer answer:

The theory of intangible capital (with roots in the intellectual capital movement in Europe and Japan) Read more

A Quick Quiz: Do you have what it takes to realize the potential of a new innovation or IP asset?

February 8, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

We had a really fun opportunity offered to us late last year. It came from an unexpected source but we were thrilled to do it.

The opportunity was to build a “QuickScan” for business professionals to analyze the strength of a business opportunity. The request came from the folks at Transfer Pricing Associates, a global practice based in the Netherlands. They wanted to include this tool on their new site, IPR Plaza (worth checking out, it’s a great site)

Their offer was unexpected because most people dealing with intellectual property rights (IPR) have a very IP-centric view of business. So we were thrilled to work with people that understand the need to plan, build and monetize IP with a more holistic view.

We came up with a simple set of 20 questions that Read more

Act like the recession is over

December 1, 2011 by · Comments Off 

It’s been a tough run for us all over the last few years. From the time in mid-2008 when we saw the recession hitting until now, we’ve lived through challenging times with quite a few of our clients.

Of course technically, the recession is over. But there is still plenty of bad news that gives us all pause every day. Still, the truth is that this year was pretty good for most companies. A number of our clients have had double-digit growth and have good outlooks for next year.

But it hasn’t been easy. And what worked in the past won’t work now. Here are a couple ideas to help you chart a new course: Read more

Book Review: Harvesting Intangible Assets

November 16, 2011 by · Comments Off 

I am very excited about Andrew Sherman’s new book, Harvesting Intangible Assets.

It’s organized around the agricultural analogy suggested by the title, which is helpful and accurate–there is a great need today for nurturing and husbanding of intangibles in organizations and in our economy as a whole. You’ll find lots of inspiration and lots of practical use here: checklists, outlines and graphics to help you organize your thoughts about managing intangibles.

Andrew brings an energy and breadth to his discussion of intangibles. I love that his approach sees intangibles as an integral and integrated part of business today rather than, as many intangibles experts tend to do, seeing intangibles as an independent field of study. Read more

Facebook’s innovation failures

October 27, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Facebook is an incredible innovator and has been critical to helping us all understand the power of the internet to create communities and change the dynamic in markets.

But the company has gotten stuck in some really old-fashioned thinking.  When they needed growth capital a year ago, they went to Goldman Sachs who did an offering available in $2 million increments. At the time, I pointed out how this violated Facebook’s stated goals of increasing openness and transparency. If the company wanted to take its thinking to its logical conclusion, it would have offered stock to its members. What a great alignment of interests between a company and its stakeholders that would have been. Alas, they left that innovation to someone else.

Now, a new company has come along to point out another way in which Facebook has failed to advance its innovation. Read more

Street Smarts: Intangible Capital In Action

October 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

I stole this title from an article I read recently in Time. The article Street Smarts is about infrastructure. And why infrastructure changes need to be planned in a new way.

Just as we industrialized every corner of our economy in the last era, so too must we knowledgeize every corner today. Infrastructure is no exception.

What does that mean? It means that we have to re-think every challenge and find the most efficient solution. And remember that we have many new tools that we didn’t have before. Here are just a few of the examples cited in the Time article: Read more

Options for Identifying Intangible Capital Risks

August 22, 2011 by · Comments Off 

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Strategic Capital Risks

August 19, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Strategic Capital is the knowledge of your market, your business opportunity and the business model you create to take advantage of that opportunity.

The right strategy is an asset. This includes staking out the right market and having the right approach to that market. Strategy is also the critical touchstone for evaluating intangible capital and answering the question, “Do we have the right IC to deliver on our strategy?”

The key risks associated with strategic capital include the: Read more

Relationship Capital Risks

August 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Relationship Capital is not always immediately understood as a knowledge asset. But the growing interconnections facilitated by technology with customers, outsourcing partners, suppliers and many other kinds of partners have created a body of shared knowledge that is critical to the operation of most businesses.

Shared is a key word here because, while sharing is an important component of relationship capital, it also represents a source of risk to the organization. Many an American company has given away its IP in recent years as its knowledge has moved from the category of proprietary structural capital to the category of shared relationship capital with outsourcing partners.

There is another aspect to relationship capital that is embodied in brand and reputation. Reputation gets more and more attention because of the vulnerability created by social media and always-on communication systems; any mistake can be broadcast immediately and the price for it can become significant. In many ways, reputation has become the most important metric for business today; it’s your license to do business in the future. As important as profits are to a business, no one cares how much BP made before the oil spill. What counts is the confidence of their stakeholders going forward. While reputation can and should be managed through a marketing function, the real work comes from strategic and risk management of the entire organization’s intangible capital.

The key risks associated with relationship capital include the: Read more

Structural Capital Risks

August 15, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Structural Capital includes the huge range of knowledge that stays in your organization when everyone goes home at night (as such, it’s one of the answers to human capital risk of knowledge walking out the door).

Structural capital can take many forms. At one end of the spectrum is the formally recorded, legally protected knowledge in intellectual property (IP). Next is the knowledge included in software and formal process. Farther along, there is all the other knowledge residing in manuals, instructions, intranets and other written resources. Finally, at the other end of the spectrum from IP is the shared knowledge that is manifested in work patterns and culture which are shared and understood in the organization—but not necessarily written down.

The key risks associated with structural capital include the: Read more

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