Harvesting Intangible Assets: Uncover Hidden Revenue in Your Company's Intellectual Property

Harvesting Intangible Assets: Uncover Hidden Revenue in Your Company's Intellectual Property

by Andrew J. Sherman
     
 

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Whether you call it “harvesting intangible assets” or “intellectual property management,” organizations must make the most of everything they have to offer if they want to remain competitive. Yet, the majority of companies are oblivious to the wealth of revenue-producing opportunities hiding just below the strategic surface.

In this

Overview

Whether you call it “harvesting intangible assets” or “intellectual property management,” organizations must make the most of everything they have to offer if they want to remain competitive. Yet, the majority of companies are oblivious to the wealth of revenue-producing opportunities hiding just below the strategic surface.

In this thought-provoking book, author Andrew J. Sherman shares insights and expertise gleaned from his work with some of the world’s leading companies who have capitalized on intellectual assets such as patents, trademarks, customer information, software codes, databases, business models, home-grown processes, and employee expertise. Featuring instructive examples from organizations including Proctor & Gamble, IBM, and Google, the book reveals how companies large or small can implement IP-driven growth and licensing strategies, foster a culture of innovation, turn R&D into revenue, and much more.

Smart companies reap what they sow. This book gives readers the tools they need for a profitable harvest.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“You will come away with a much better practical sense of how intangible fit into business strategy and how to develop that strategy….Sherman has made an strong contribution towards helping business develop strategies utilizing their intangibles. The book should be widely read.” —The Intangible Economy

“…a thoughtful eye-opener.” - Inland Empire Business Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814416990
Publisher:
AMACOM
Publication date:
10/20/2011
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

The Intellectual Capital Agrarian

Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in such a short period of time.

—BILL GATES

We are all farmers.

We mark our turf. We protect our property. We plant our seeds. We nurture the soil. We plow our land. We combat adverse weather and ecosystem conditions and overcome adversities.

We prepare for our harvest. We carefully remove the frost from the vine. We hope for the best and prepare for the worst as the market sets a price for our efforts. We embrace the notion that our results will be directly tied to our levels of effort and expertise. We begin anew.

No matter what your profession, no matter what your company does, no matter what your life situation may be—we all follow this fundamental and deeply rooted agricultural process in some way throughout the days of our lives. We are all the new agrarians. But do we recognize ourselves as such? Have we learned from the successes and failures of the agrarian economies that preceded us? Can we learn to apply the traditional as well as the latest best practices of farming to our daily lives and in the growth of our companies? How can we make our lives more enjoyable and enriching and our companies more productive and profitable by adopting an agrarian approach to life planning, time management, resource allocation, innovation harvesting, and business model reshaping?

Consider the following questions as they apply to your life and to your business:

- Have you carefully selected a territory that is fertile for growth and right for your type of crop?

- Do you understand the dynamics of your ecosystem?

- Have you done everything in your power to properly nurture the soil and enhance the land’s ability to produce?

- What seeds will you plant, and why?

- Are you ready to invest the time and energy to care for these seeds once planted?

- Whom will you hire to help you raise, harvest, and sell the produce at your farm?

- What tools, resources, and expertise will you require to maximize the fruits of your harvest?

- What adverse weather or market conditions must you overcome to be successful?

- Who else is growing these same crops? How does their experience compare to your own?

- Do you have a keen sense for the cycles and timetables that will optimize your harvest?

- What is your game plan for bringing your crops to the marketplace? Will you do it alone or join with others?

- What are your distribution channels, and who are your target customers? On what basis and criteria will they select your harvest rather than others’? On the basis of price? Quality?

Convenience? Availability?

- How will you allocate the revenues that this year’s harvest will bring? Have you performed a sensitivity analysis based on high/expected/low target ranges?

- What steps need to be put in place to set the stage for beginning the process again?

- What have you learned from the successes and failures of last year’s process to make next year even better?

Each of these questions must be answered by every type of farmer every year in every country around the world. Every year a they ‘‘bet the farm,’’ overcoming the challenges of the wind, sun a drought, floods, and other conditions beyond their control to put food on all of our tables. But the questions also apply to each of us—in the growth and development of our companies and as applied to the growth and development of ourselves as humans and as an evolving society. And, just as with farming, if we care for the soil and harvest properly, we produce value. If we overwork or overtax the farm and add too many pesticides over too much irrigation, the outputs will be limited and potentially dangerous.

Farmers who strive to perfect this process and to learn from the successes and failures of each year’s harvest enjoy financial stability and wealth creation. They work hard to control the variables that are in their power and develop contingency plans around the variables that they can’t control. They see the crops as an extension of themselves and are happy as they see them grow and progress. They enjoy the process and connect with the land in a spiritual way. But at the very core and soul of their existence is the relationship between themselves and their land and between their tools and their seeds and between the quality of their harvest and the dynamics of the marketplace.

In building companies and fostering innovation, we must all embrace these same principles. We must put conditions in place that support a corporate culture likely to yield a productive harvest and be constantly planting the seeds of creativity, encouragement a curiosity, empathy, respect, challenge, and fulfillment. We

must understand which tools will be most effective for reinforcing the underlying principles of this culture. We must take steps to manage the conditions that are within our control and develop

‘‘Plan Bs’’ for those that we can’t. Most important, we must fully invest in the growth and development of our human capital by providing education and training to our teams at all levels to teach how to become farmers inside our companies and in their own lives.

Meet the Author

ANDREW J. SHERMAN is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day and a top-rated Adjunct Professor in the MBA and Executive MBA programs at the University of Maryland. An internationally recognized authority on the legal and strategic aspects of business growth, he is frequently called upon by the media to share his expertise. He has been featured or quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, Entrepreneur, U.S. News & World Report, and other prestigious publications. His approach to leveraging intellectual assets was a cover story for Inc. magazine. He is the author of several books, including Mergers and Acquisitions from A to Z, Raising Capital, and Franchising and Licensing.

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