What if one person in your business knows too much?
How can you reduce this dependency?
I once worked for a business where only one person knew how to work the most crucial machine in the business. The ‘machine’ was actually software and this one person had been responsible for coding it over many years
As a result there were many and varied complex rules and quirky, one off special arrangements which made the system very complex.
I jokingly referred to it as the ‘Enigma machine’ because no one could understand it and there was only one person (the programmer) who could decode it and get it to work, and hence the business was reliant on this software and this person for more than several decades!
As a result this person’s leverage over the business was considerable. Thankfully, in this case, there was a very limited risk that they would jump ship and join a rival business. But if they had the impact could’ve been catastrophic.
There are people like this person in many businesses where so much knowledge and power resides in the one individual that the business will be damaged and will struggle to recover if and when that person is no longer in the business.
Even worse and more of an impact would be if that key person were to join the competition and takes his knowledge and company trade secrets over to a rival.
Some know how is so valuable to the company that a business can’t run efficiently if it is lost.
Some of this know-how is confidential to the business and would cause significant damage if it fell into the hands of competitors.
The obvious preventative solution to this problem is not to allow anyone individual to gain so much power through their knowledge.
The other solution is to have a know-how capture and know-how transfer programme within the business. Sometimes know-how only manifests itself in the state at which it was developed, that is the memory is triggered when in a similar situation. Therefore It is sometimes important to recreate situations in order to capture all the know how. Business intellectual property.
Some of this know-how may well be commercially valuable and confer advantage on the business, as long as the knowledge of this is restricted it could arguably be classified as a trade secret. Therefore it is probably wise to develop a trade secrets programme alongside the know-how transfer programme.
Trade secrets are a much more valued and valuable intellectual property right than they ever have been. Leading companies are now taking a blended approach to IP protection including a range of registered and unregistered intellectual property rights to protect competitive advantage.
Whether you realise it or not I guarantee that trade secrets should form a fundamental part of protecting your competitive advantage, secret know how and ultimately the value of your business.
Programmes to identify and capture know-how and trade secrets will mean you businesses is less reliant on key individuals, I’m better able to identify and enter protect the items from which it derives competitive advantage in the marketplace.
What’s not to like?
Business intellectual property
Exalt IP experts in Business Intellectual Property.
Get in touch for a Confidential, Free No Obligation Initial Review Book Here or check www.Exaltip.com email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +447587885131 for more information.
For over 20 years I have been helping business to Win With IP: Using intellectual property to protect ideas, creations, inventions, and competitive advantage.
Protecting #IntellectualProperty #IntangibleAssets #Innovations with #Patents #TradeSecrets #Copyright #Designs and #Brands with Registered #Trademarks also with Unregistered Trademarks.
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