About 14 years ago, during an exercise in IP management, I offered a client a continuous improvement model that I called the AWAKE Cycle™. This model is comprised of the following:
The succession follows that before you can take an action with any deliberation, you need to first be aware of an opportunity or threat. Then you need to be willing to act, have the ability to act, and have the knowledge to act well. In the course of acting, you gain experience. That experience should improve your awareness of the situation, affect your willingness to act or not act on the next cycle, and then have in some way improved upon ability and knowledge, gaining yet more experience, and so on.
If you do not include IP awareness into a staff training plan, then you may break this cycle of continuous learning with IP. People cannot be expected to learn about that which they have no awareness. It becomes a mistake when IP could be a tool to advance or defend the business, but due to a lack of awareness about the possibilities, it is not used.
Consider adding IP awareness training to staff training. Let people know what IP is and its importance to make it easier for them to document IP and take IP forward. Tailor it to their positions and frame that IP as a tool to shape markets for which the entire company can be involved. Include what IP is, how to protect it, and how to exploit it. Awareness is the first step toward creating a first rate IP strategy.
(This is number 37 in our list of IP mistakes and how to avoid them.)
(Image credit: StaR DusT)