Wikipedia defines as asset as “Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset. Websters defines assets as:a useful and desirable thing or quality: a single item of ownership having exchange value.
The value of an asset is usually determined by how it is used to produce something of value. Corporations use tangible and intangible assets to produce value that a market will consume for the purposes of increasing the organizations economic value. Individuals acquire tangible assets and use their intangible assets to create value for personal and professional gains. The gains come in economic and non-economic forms.
Non- economic gains are the things that we label as intangible. These things include:
- The love of we have for our spouse or our children, our immediate family and friends.
- The joy of watching our children grow and observing them learning from life
- Laughing at ourselves over the silly things we used to do
- Learning new things that help use see things differently and the joy of learning
- Shedding tears from the abundance of happiness
- Experiencing lifes trails and overcoming lifes challenges
- Increasing in knowledge and sharing what we’ve learned with others
- Helping someone greive the loss of a loved one and lifting them up with hope
- Expressing appreciation and being appreciated
- Encouraging one another when life produces discouraging events
And the list of intangible things goes on and on throughout our journey through life. The intangible things appreciate in value while the tangible things depreciate in value over time.
Asset Lessons For Business
We’ve somehow convinced ourselves that building business value is different than building individual value. We come to belive that business value is more about the tangible things vs. the intangible. We’ve been taught that the soul of a business is economic gains, Subsequently “business” has become diconnected with the soul of the human network.
Businesses everywhere are trying to “connect” with us as “friends”. Yet businesses of all types attempt to connect with us with tangible things that do not relate to the intangibles things that the human network values most.
The human network thrives on the intangible things such as love, trust, faith, purpose and human fulfillment. The business network thrives on tangible things such as ROI, Shareholder value, earnings etc. etc.
The most important assets we have individually and organizationally are the intangibles. Not recognizing this means that we individually and collectively cannot effectively produce tangible results that matter.