I was vividly reminded of this when I walked in to an accident scene not so long ago. A number of very clever (but tired) people were there, one of them with a nasty wound from an accident, blood all over the floor. Everyone seemed a bit frozen, doing things, but there was a distinct lack of calmness in the air.
I’ve previously held senior first aid positions alongside my real job in various organisations and done a lot of emergency work in my previous life as a veterinarian and for whatever reason, I just seem to snap in to emergency mode as soon as I see something like this.
So, I looked around, saw that the patient was stable, and did the following things:
1 – handed the patient a towel to compress the wound and stop the bleeding;
2 – started cleaning up the blood on the floor
Now here’s the interesting thing from an IP Strategy perspective. Item 1 was the natural thing, it’s like ‘file that provisional quickly’ or ‘call a meeting now – we need to discuss that competitor’s latest move this morning’.
Item 2 however is the one that had the greater impact. One of the people there took over from me and there was suddenly a focus of activity – keeping people busy and directed. And of course, after the blood was gone everyone calmed down. The scene became less visceral, less dramatic and more focused.
The point being that it’s often the subtle, intangible things that you do that can have an enormous impact.
It’s that quiet conversation (mostly listening) with the CEO to understand his or her personal drivers as well as those for the company and how they mesh with IP.
Or the subtle tweaks you make in a process to make it much easier (almost inevitable) for the wider team to do that important IP thing.
Perception, and emotion drive behaviour, whether you like it or not.
And since behaviour drives strategy, it’s worth contemplating this, quite a lot.
[Image credit: John McNab]