Another area requiring integrated strategic planning is that with respect to the corporation’s intellectual assets. The “A Simple Way To Visualize Your Company’s Intellectual Assets” figure shows the strategic ways in which the company’s assets can be best utilized. Within the triangle the assets can first be used to make certain the business can exist by making sure that the company is free to operate in the business spheres it wishes. If the assets are accomplishing this task, the next thing they need to accomplish is to ensure a company gets a return on its investment so that its business has an advantaged position over time. Further up the hierarchy, a company needs make sure it can create sustained value in the future, which from an asset standpoint is done by buying, selling and licensing assets appropriately. Finally if a company is doing an excellent job at managing its assets, it can focus on future market control by leveraging its intellectual assets to influence the future directions of its marketplaces. These elements of been placed in a triangle because the broad base must be in place and solid before the next level above can be addressed.
From a competency standpoint one can see at the bottom that Legal teams are involved in litigation. R&D and Business Development teams are involved in innovation. The strategic focus of the teams is to accumulate intellectual property assets that ensure freedom to action. As one looks higher in the hierarchy, portfolio management teams from Marketing, Sales, Product Management, and Licensing have to manage a portfolio of assets so that it protects the company’s profitability. Those assets that do not afford the company protection need to be pruned to save cost, and those which are providing protection need to be built upon. Still higher in the hierarchy involves integration of Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing and Licensing teams to make sure that assets which are allowed to be licensed or sold to increase business profitability do not damage the company’s current or future return on investment. Finally at the top of the hierarchy Standards Committees, Business Development, Compliance and Marketing need to coordinate their strategies to help the industry move and directions that will help the Corporation.
Specific tasks are shown in the “Tasks Related to Strategies and Management of a Company’s Intellectual Assets” figure. These specific tasks show the variety of roles and responsibilities that are scattered throughout a typical Corporation have to come together in an integrated manner to make best use of the Corporation’s assets. From an intellectual asset management standpoint the level of strategy is shown on the left hand side of the figure is moving from unconscious incompetence up through to unconscious competence.