Organisational culture and IP strategy

Creating and maintaining an authentic organisational culture is a critical business issue today. How does Intellectual Property Strategy fit into this?
To be really successful, the organisation’s approach to IP issues should be built into the fabric of its culture. Open source, open collaboration, patent everything, share freely or sue everyone, it really doesn’t matter what your approach is, just make sure that everyone buys in and works together to make it truly effective.
Get the message out there and give everyone in the organisation the knowledge and resources to make it happen.

Should this come from the top down or bottom up? (Top down makes a lot of sense because the top is where corporate strategy is set and which should dictate IP strategy. However, bottom up will ensure much stronger ‘buy in’ from the members of the organisation.) Maybe a hybrid is even better.

What do you think?

(PS = don’t forget to read the great comments made by Jackie Hutter and Allan Main on the recent post – Top 3 things leaders need to know about IP.)

2 Comments on “Organisational culture and IP strategy

  1. Hello again Duncan.
    As you know I am passionate about the role of an organisational IP culture in fulfilling corporate promise with its IP.  Helping my clients achieve this is a leading platform of my consulting business. 
    IP Culture is the human component of an effectively performing IP Organisation, the (equally important) structural aspect is IP Architecture (policies, procedures, organisational structure etc). 
    As you rightly point out the key thing with an IP culture is corporate uniformity of belief and adherence.  I like to describe that in two dimensions – CONSISTENCY which is uniformity throughout and across all organisational levels, and CONSTANCY which is uniformity across the time dimension.  IP Culture is not unique in that requirement, it is a requisite to developing any aspect of high performing organisational culture.
    And like any aspect of culture it needs to be led, which implies leadership, which implies leaders, which implies top down.  HOWEVER, while top-down is necessary (ie don’t even start if the CEO and Board are cynical), it is not sufficient.  Ultimately the success of IP Culture implementation will be determined by bottom-up performance.  The day-to-day practical activities of the lower half of the corporate strata will have substantially greater impact on business IP performance than will the day-to-day work of the upper echelons.  But if the highest levels of the organisation walk out of step with the drum they beat, you can forget delivering a culture where all personnel make their day to day choices in ways that provide a solid platform of IP value.
    So in short, to answer your question, in my view IP Culture is LED top down but LIVED bottom-up.

%d bloggers like this: