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Edison in the Boardroom Revisited: How Leading Companies Realize Value from Their Intellectual Property, Second Edition by Patrick H. Sullivan, Suzanne S. Harrison

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Best Practices for Level Five: Shape the Future

Unlike the previous levels of the pyramid, Level Five companies are no longer looking only internally at how they can utilize IP; rather they are now focused outside the organization on how IP can help shape or change the dynamics of a market or industry. In addition, the time frames have lengthened considerably, often looking 5 to 10 years into the future. Given companies’ needs to shape the future, Gathering companies have identified two best practices that are useful here; they are:

Best Practice 1: Define the context of your company’s future.

Best Practice 2: Influence the future.

Best Practice 1: Define the Context of Your Company’s Future

Defining the context of your company’s future is not an easy task to accomplish; particularly in view of the many perspectives, internal as well as external, that could be taken into account. We suspect this very difficulty is a major reason why companies don’t make more explicit efforts to define the future context for their company and how they expect to thrive within it. There is also quite likely a concern that to very openly discuss the company’s future direction and strategies for influencing the future would be giving away too much information to current and/or future competitors.

Yes, it is possible to identify a desired future. It is particularly helpful, however, to make sure that that identification is consistent with the “envelope” within which the future is most likely to take ...

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