Going for Gold

By Lee Caffin

The Summer Olympics are in just a few months, and center-stage are those athletes from around the World who have dedicated the last four years to achieving their personal goal.

Top athletes need a supporting team with the relevant knowledge and experience to help their charges achieve their maximum potential. Selection will be based on a combination of attributes, including personal rapport, significant practical experience in the field, a record of success, excellent knowledge of the athlete’s particular activity, likely a good reference from a trusted source, and often it’s someone who has achieved a high personal level in the sport. A coach or trainer who does not have at least these attributes would not be in the running for selection.

It’s the same when considering an IP strategy consultant. You need someone (or a team of such individuals) who has real life experience managing IP strategy for companies. Excellent practical knowledge of how IP works and a track record of helping organizations achieve their goal through implementation are essential. Yet we see so much discussion from “IP Strategists” of theoretical concepts, schemes, plans, mind-maps etc. For sure, thinking about IP strategy and some representational platforms to inform companies and individuals have their place.  But, as an athlete would not select a trainer who is all theory and no relevant practical experience, the same is true of IP strategists.

Be careful. There are a lot of people climbing on the IP strategy bandwagon. Choose individuals and teams wisely; not based on some general conceptual IP strategy process or scheme that dissipates when you try to grasp its application in the real world, but rather choosing as an athlete would: someone with hard-nosed practical experience. IP is critical for company success. Choose your IP strategist well and go for gold.

Image credit: Chanwai

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