The New Year is a perfect time to evaluate what is working for your IP recognition program and perhaps what could be better. Do you recall the last time your organization looked at how intellectual property is recognized? Evaluating existing programs isn’t usually high on the list, your plate is full and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” right?
Unfortunately, no. Although IP recognition can get by on cruise control for a year or two and remain strong, it usually takes a little more intentionality to have a robust recognition program that aids your culture of innovation. Here are 3 signs that might indicate your IP Recognition could use an update.
You are recognizing your inventors when you can.
How (and where) employees work has really changed over the past few years making consistent recognition even more important. Big events honoring inventors are less common and even weekly human interaction with a manager can be infrequent. So, when it comes to a big achievement such as a patent issuing, timing becomes imperative. Patent Awards' research shows roughly 20% of inventors feel the value of recognition received is less when they are recognized one to three months afterwards.
When you work with patents every day, it can be easy to forget that receiving a patent should be a big deal and the acknowledgment of the achievement (or lack thereof) can really affect an employee’s engagement within your organization.
Inventors are not sure of the processes to get a patent or to be recognized for a patent.
Adam Grant (organizational psychologist) says it best: “Good communication requires repetition. Leaders are 9x more likely to be criticized for under-communicating than over-communicating. Those who say too little come across as unclear and uncaring. When you are tired of your message, it’s just starting to land.”
It is not enough to have processes documented in the handbook or shared on Teams. For your IP recognition to reap the fruits that were intended, it is crucial that people know what to do from disclosure to grant. This means innovation reminders need to be occurring across the organization, with all positions up, down, and sideways. Get management involved, whatever it takes to get the message out to the inventors about the processes and importance of innovation. As Adam Grant says above “When you are tired of your message, it’s just starting to land”.
Your organization recognizes prolific inventors the same way they recognize everyone else.
Prolific inventors are in a different league than inventors who get one or two, maybe three patents in their career. And for many prolific inventors, a patent quickly becomes "just another patent." Most prolific inventors we speak with say recognition becomes less about the individual patent achievements and more about the quantity of patents they have achieved. The power of recognizing prolific inventors is in recognizing their patent milestones.
This is how you do it. Keep systematically recognizing inventors as patents issue throughout the year but put a spotlight on your prestigious inventors annually with an event or special milestone awards just for them. An annual event gives them the recognition for how many patents they have and honors their significant contribution appropriately. So, when was the last time that your organization looked at its IP Recognition? Is it delivering the results that were originally intended? If not, Patent Awards challenges you to choose just one area of improvement and to invest some time to make it better. The start of a new year is busy, we get it, and we can help. Give us a call to see how we can help make it easier for you. Perhaps there are hoops you jump through to get data that isn’t necessary for ordering awards, or there are some checks and balances we can do on this end to make it easier for you. We help hundreds of companies with IP recognition, and they all have differences. Whatever the case is, we are here to partner with you and help you to be successful with your IP Recognition to help create a strong culture of innovation within your organization.