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MISSION: INTANGIBLE.

Managing risk and reputation to create enterprise value.

Classroom Use Ideas

The book is organized into three sections that address:

  • five core questions: why, what, who, where, and when;
  • theory, practices, and responsible parties; and
  • time frames comprising past, present and future.

I. The foundational section (Chapters 1-3) explains why we find ourselves in the curious situation from an evolutionary and theoretical framework. The central hypothesis that links reputation to value is asserted. This section explains why intangible assets are so valuable today, and why managing them can create, protect and restore value. The section concludes with an explanation of how they interact with one another in a relationship resembling a Roman arch, where a business process failure of any one intangible asset—ethics, innovation, quality, safety, sustainability or security—can result in a precipitous loss of value, and can even place the entire enterprise in mortal peril.

Suggested discussion questions:
1. What social, political, and economic factors are behind the rise in the proportional value of intangible assets?
2. How can the fundamental principles of accounting be reconciled with the realities of intangible asset value?
3. Is there a hierarchy to the relative importance of intangible assets to enterprise value?
4. Is the Roman Arch an adequate model of value properties of intangible assets?

II. The operational section (Chapters 4-9) links specific reputational assets to metrics on enterprise value and return on equity, and defines what are the practices that can increase, protect or restore value. Chapter by chapter, this section provides detailed examples of strategies to create an ethical work environment, drive innovation, assure quality, uphold safety, promote sustainability and provide security. In addition, for the employed executives charged with managing their companies’ intangible assets who are taking a course using this book, this section will help them to (i) build the business case to obtain resources and (ii) focus managerial talent on business processes that link reputation to value.

Suggested discussion questions:
1. What governmental entities are stakeholders in business process best practices?
2. How are non-government organizations informing the debate on best practices, and are they effective?
3. What is the role of the fifth estate in corporate behavior?
4. The benefits of intangible asset financial management often spill over to passive beneficiaries. This fact distorts ROE calculations. Is there a practical solution to this ‘tragedy of the commons?”

III. The leadership section (Chapter 10) looks to the future and who might evolve into a bona fide Chief Reputation Officer. This last section discusses organizational management, the need for enterprise-wide coordination across organizational silos (i.e., a holistic approach), and the oversight responsibilities of the Board of Directors.

Suggested discussion questions:
1. Is it practical to make the CEO the one-stop shop for all key corporate values?
2. Is there a particular business career path that makes one executive inherently better prepared than another to assume the mantle of Chief Reputation Officer?
3. Is there a functional distinction between a corporate brand manager and a corporate reputation manager?
4. On which extra-financial metrics would you rely to manage a corporate reputation initiative?

Engage us

Please share your thoughts and comments. Begin a discussion on the Intangible Asset Finance Society (IAFS) group page on Linked-In.com or email us at: comments@missionintangible.com.