tools for intellectual assets

Intellectual asset management in small organisations

Wealth and growth in today’s economy are driven primarily by intangible assets (IA). In the modern “knowledge economy” over 80% of a company’s value lies in their intangibles. The effective management of a company’s intellectual assets will distance market threats and generate additional value and income for the business. The ability to exploit these assets is an increasing source of competitive advantage and company value, and will drive productivity gain.

Research found that although many SME’s in Scotland had basic awareness of the importance of intangible factors and assets to their business, very few businesses had a good understanding of them, were able to place a value on these assets or reported any activity to record, safeguard or exploit them. The main reasons given for not doing this were cost, lack of knowledge and failure to see the business benefits.

The IA Change-drivingTM tools

Along with my friend Annette Brooks-Rooney, I worked with the Intellectual Assets Centre in Glasgow to design a suite of IA tools specifically to help SME’s identify and extract value from hitherto untouched, and possibly unknown, intellectual assets within the company.

There are five tools in the suite that will help you drive change through IA management in your business. The tools are designed to be independent but are inter-linked to enable companies to embark on a complete IA journey.

The tools are simple to use, but we have found that facilitation helps most organisations, by stimulating discussion and debate of IA issues.

The starting point for your journey is the Diagnostic Check, which is a slimmed-down version of the StrategyTrak™ questionnaire. The results from this tool will help map the best possible route for your journey through the other four tools.

1. Diagnostic Check – aims to identify company type, raise awareness of key IA issues within the company, and identify current pressures on intellectual assets.

2. RouteMap –  establishes the clear “know why” for a successful IA journey and links IA to core business objectives.

3. CrewFinder –  helps you to identify the key activities and associated competences needed to achieve your business objectives.

4. PitStop –  prioritises the actions required to share, capture and manage the mission-critical intellectual assets stored in people’s heads (and also identifies what no longer needs high energy and attention).

5. Accelerator –  provides a profile of the behavioural preferences within your team and organisation that can overcome inertia and accelerate a change process to exploit IA and create new IA.

To use the tools, go to the Intellectual Assets Centre site. The online tools are entirely free to use – but you need to register on the IA-Centre site first.

If you prefer to use the tools in-house, they are also available as standalone database applications. If you want to find out more about these, or if you would like expert facilitation with the tools, contact me. The in-house service is not free!