Reputation: One Voice
“I had no idea. I was one of those people going ‘Why are you vegetarian, that’s stupid’ all of a sudden I realised what I was going on. I was, like, wow, sign me up.”
Benji Madden, KFC Spokesperson
Sure, hiring a vegetarian spokesperson to hawk the healthy consumption of mass quantities of fried chicken, both regular and extra-crispy versions, shows a certain level of ineptitude. It's an obvious source of friction, let alone derision, that compromises both stories.
Yet on a larger scale, how different is the lack of thinking, and the negative effects, when a company like AIG invests tens of millions to rebrand itself (again), shed the Chartis cloak, and thank the taxpayers of the United States for their help while some num num in legal thinks joining Hank Greenberg's lawsuit against the United States is a good idea? Fortunately, in the case of the latter, the Board of Directors had the presence of mind to shut down the plotting after only two days of adverse PR.
Companies communicate through many channels, and in a world linked by near-instant electronic transmission, virtually universal search, and a near-infinite memory loaded by an army of self-appointed investigative journalists with a keyboard, those communications need to meld harmoniously -- playing off the same page, as it is said.
The marketing department is obviously a key player. Their music helps set customer expectations. The company's brand, a promise and technically a liability, is a major pathway for setting customer expectations and creating the potential for above average economic rewards. The IR group helps set investor expectations. The lobbying group helps set regulatory expectations. Then there are the back office activities of legal, risk management, and of course, corporate operations. These things that the back office people do is what stakeholders now watch. How they do them - ethically, creatively; with quality, safely, sustainably, and securely - really count.
These corporate musicians, unfortunately, perform on differing stages. Many arguably perform in soundproof booths. This is not a good strategy anymore. At the very least, companies need to create a working group to ensure a reasonable level of synchronization. The $10,000 question: who will conduct this chamber orchestra and help harmonize reputational governance between and among the Board, senior management, operations, and the various corporate groups overseeing key business intangibles?
Programming calendar for the Mission Intangible Monthly Briefings
This free series of moderated conversations are fabulous educational events. We have a terrific line up with leading authorities addressing core issues on a broad range of intangible asset drivers of value. See the program list for 10H00 ET on the ~first Friday of each month below.
Our program moderator is the global brand strategist, Jonathan Salem Baskin.
Jonathan is President of Baskin Associates, Inc., a marketing decisions consultancy. He is the author of four books on branding and marketing ("Tell the Truth" will be published in April, 2012), a columnist on marketing leadership for Advertising Age, and blogs at Dim Bulb and Histories of Social Media. He has 29 years of experience working with leading global brand names and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. You can read more about Jonathan here.
For those wishing to follow the Briefings with written materials, slides are available for download on the Society's events page in advance of each program, and we strongly encourage audience-sourced questions before and during the event. There is no cost to the slides or to participate in the broadcast, but we do ask attendees to register. Register now for the next Mission Intangible Monthly Briefing.
In addition, if you should miss an event, or if you would like to review an event, an archival set comprising the slide presentations and audio recordings are available for each of the prior events through the Society's store. Society members receive a substantial discount. Learn More - Monthly Briefing
Briefing Friday 18 January at 10h00 ET
Organizational Resilience: Taking a licking and keep on ticking
In Resilient Enterprise Paradigm,
a white paper the U.S. Department
of Commerce commissioned from the Council on Competitiveness, the
Council noted that, as the economy becomes more globalized and knowledge-based, and as distant perils have both local and global impact, resilience - the ability to anticipate, prevent, mitigate,
and recover quickly from, disruption-is not merely important, rather, it is a business necessity. Yet in a knowledge economy where 70% of the average company comprises intangible assets, guidance for fostering intangible asset resilience is sparse.
Joining our conversation are Dr. Marc H. Siegel, a senior security professional who is Commissioner of the ASIS International Global Standards Initiative and Michael D. Greenberg, a senior research analyst with RAND, Director of RAND’s Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance, and a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council.
Briefing Friday 22 February at 10h00 ET
Program: Corporate Social Culpability: The buck stops somewhere
Corporations are today the main agents of global, social and political change. Of course, governments are the political entities holding the national mandate for social responsibility. Some socially oriented stakeholders expect corporations to lead social change; others fear that corporate motivations are inherently antisocial and prefer governments to take the lead. Still others prefer government to act by incentivizing corporations. These varied expectations underpin social activism and voting patterns, reputations, stock price, and election outcomes.
Joining us are Daniel Diermeier, IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice and Director, Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and author of Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Valuable Asset; and Scott Childers, Director of Integrated Trade Management at The Walt Disney Company, and a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council.
Briefing Friday 29 March at 10h00 ET
Program: Compliance: Is a goody-two-shoes reputation valuable?
In Billy Joel's New York, only the good die young. In post-Lehman New York, do the good have better prospects? When analysts make stock recommendations on the basis of environmental, sustainability and governance, factors, is there value in compliance? And what is one to make of the fact that fully half of the ten largest federal corporate criminal fines in history were imposed or agreed to in 2012.
Joining our conversation are Joan E. McKown, Partner, Jones Day and formerly the longtime chief counsel of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC; and Paul Liebman, an OCEG fellow, an ethics and integrity thought leader, and a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council.
Briefing Friday 19 April at 10h00 ET
Program: Grass is Not Always Greener: Less Intangible Asset Value in Russia
The expectations held by the New York and London markets have created companies with enormous value and tiny balance sheets. We take these truths to be self evident: that intangible assets rule. Careful econometric research, however finds contrarian examples on the Russian Trading System. There, the fundamental value of tangible assets is the primary driver of market value.
Joining our conversation are Tatiana A. Garanina, Senior Lecturer, Department of Finance and Accounting, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia; and Jonathan Low, a Partner in Predictiv, a consulting firm specializing in the valuation of intangibles, and a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council.
Briefing Friday 17 May at 10h00 ET
Program: Herbicides for Digital Forget-Me-Nots
To deal with the problem of people hearing or seeing things best not heard nor seen, the Men in Black used a neuralyzer to wipe the memory of a target or witness. The silicon of the world wide web is resilient, so more powerful tools are needed when inaccurate or biased information appears or when a reinvention is desired.
Joining our conversation are Shannon M. Wilkinson, Founder and CEO, Reputation Communications; and Michael D. Greenberg, Director of RAND’s Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance, and a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council.
Briefing Friday 28 June at 10h00 ET
Program: How to Celebrate a Cornucopia of Intangibles
Texts as old as the bible affirm that one reaps what one sows. Returning to present times, what does one sow to harvest intangibles, and is there a more modern text with a less pithy presentation of strategy?
Joining our conversation are Andrew J. Sherman, author of 17 books on the legal and strategic aspects of business growth, franchising, capital formation, and the leveraging of intellectual property, and a partner with Jones Day; and Paul Liebman, an OCEG fellow, an ethics and integrity thought leader, and a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council.
Reputation is embedded in stock price. Reputation metrics exist to provide an independent measure. The Steel City Re Reputational Value Metrics is one such family of measures, and RepuStars® Variety was created several years ago to demonstrate both the independence of the metric and its value as a leading indicator. Values are updated weekly and posted on the Mission Intangible blog every Monday. Since 1 November 2011, the RepuStars® Variety Corporate Reputation Index has been calculated in real time by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes with quotes available on several popular financial websites. Click here for real time quotes.
MISSION:INTANGIBLE, the Blog
In addition to the weekly financial metrics, the blog of the Society offers critical comments on intangible asset management, reputation, and finance matters appearing in today's headlines. This past quarter, themes addressed included innovation, executive compensation, creative accounting, supply chain hazards, risk communications, labor ethics, trust, and much more.
Companies and other institutions recently reviewed include Boeing, Dole, Yum!, Dell, Moody's, S&P, HSBC, UBS, Walmart, Target, McDonald's and many more. Learn More - Mission:Intangible
Recent IAM Magazine Articles from the Society
Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine, a Globe White Page Ltd publication, is the media partner of the Society. IAM magazine publishes in each issue a contribution from the Society on a noteworthy intangible asset finance matter. And since the January 2010 issue, we also added case studies on reputation management. Recent publications have covered developing a corporate culture of intangible asset protection, best practices for reputation crisis management, socially responsible investing, the art of regionally branding, advanced concepts in IP and venture capital, surveys of perceived intangible asset risk, and using insurances to manage patent risks. Learn More - IAM.
List Your Book With Us
The Society is pleased to call attention to books by our members; last year, we announced the first book from the Society titled (what else?), Mission: Intangible. Managing risk and reputation to create enterprise value.
If you are a Society Member and would like to list your book at no charge with the Society and feature it both on our website and in our store, including links to your preferred sales channel, please contact our publications Chair by clicking here. We take no commission on sales, so value this offer as yet one more intangible benefit of Society membership.
Reputation, intangible assets, intellectual capital, ESG, CRM, CSR, whatever. To the extent that anyone is talking about any of these, it is like the weather. Talk. No action. Unless they, like you, are a member of the Society. You're not, you say? Here's why you should be.
Through our community activities, educational programming, and outreach, members of the Intangible Asset Finance Society (IAFS) understand the implications and differences among reputation, intangible asset and intellectual capital and are preparing to do something about them. Here’s why:
1. Thought Leadership on Financial Metrics. The IAFS is the only interdisciplinary Society of professionals in diverse fields such as communications, risk management, intellectual asset management, operations, and finance committed to the financial exploitation of intangible assets. Superior exploitation translates into enhanced pricing power; lower operating and credit costs; and higher net incomes and earnings multiples.
2. Risk Management and Value Preservation. A lost reputation can destroy a firm overnight. IAFS can keep you up to date with enterprise risk management strategies for ethics, innovation, quality, safety, environmental sustainability, and security, all bundled in the stakeholder friendly wrapper of "reputation" management.
3. Preferential Pricing. Society members receive preferential rates for IAFS products at our new store and discounted registration to various professional meetings. Visit the Society's current News page for conferences where you can monetize your relationship capital with IAFS.
To renew your membership through our on-line store, click here. To apply for membership, click here.
Questions? Contact the Membership Chairman, David Gould, or the Executive Secretary, Nir Kossovsky. For contact information, click here.
Faced with such a cornucopia of value, how could you do anything but click here for a membership application form?
We have more than three years of action-packed Mission Intangible(R) Monthly Briefings available for sale and download at extraordinarily reasonable prices for Society members. Each Monthly Briefing package, comprising an audio file and slides, represents the work of leading edge practitioners in the emerging field of intangible asset financial management. We also offer books, including the Society's own publication, Mission: Intangible. Visit our store.
Linked-In IAFS Interest Group
Subtly signal to your colleagues that you know what it takes to create value in those assets that represent the bulk of a company's value today. Linked-In, the business networking website, hosts the IAFS icon that Society Members may wish to affix to their on-line bios. Like nearly 600 other forward-thinking executives, affirm your commitment to superior intangible asset financial stewardship by (click on the following phrase) joining the Linked-In group, Intangible Asset Finance Society - IAFS.