5 Best Practices to Tap into Your Intellectual PropertyJan 11, 2017
If you struggle with transforming what your vast experiences and insight into concepts and skills that are transferable to your current and future clients, don't worry. You are not alone.
To help you manifest your intellectual property that you can use in your content marketing and consulting delivery, let me give you Five Best Practices to help you get started:
- First, look at the problems your clients typically ask you to solve. Do they want you to alleviate pain? (e.g., they no longer enjoy the business results they once did; their leaders are floundering; they must cut costs; etc.). Or do they need help in maximizing opportunities? (e.g., they want to be market leaders, but don’t know where to start; they want to publicize their assets, but are having no success at doing so; etc.) Now, consider this: The reason that a client calls you in is a clue what to your expertise is.
- Second, analyze how you think about the problems or opportunities facing you. A simple way to analyze any worldview or perspective is to define the following: What is the ideal state, what went wrong and what is the solution. As an Organization Development Consultant, I firmly believe that the ideal state for any organization is to have a strong alignment between its business strategy and organization and people strategies. What often goes wrong is that a misalignment develops. So I focus my intervention on reestablishing the proper alignment. Not everyone will agree with me. Some might feel that the ideal for an organization is to have cultures that foster commitment. In other words, we all have a theory that undergirds why we do what we do. Becoming aware of that theory is the key to moving forward.
- Third, you probably already have core techniques that you use with your clients, so now you need to pay attention to them. What steps do you usually take from problem to implemented solution? Maybe you help healthcare organizations become market leaders. If so, how do you make that happen? What are the steps you have them take between where they are today and market leadership? Also take a look at how you typically engage a client. What steps do you use? For example, do you generally establish a partnership first, then do some analysis, make recommendations, implement a solution and evaluate the results? If so, that is a core technique which is transferable to others. I have a friend who calls these “scripts.” All of us have them, but all of us don’t put them on paper.
- Fourth, learn to think more deeply. For example, I recently spoke with a colleague, who had snapped a picture of a turtle’s nest on the beach. I asked him why the turtle’s nest was interesting to him. As we discussed the subject in depth, the turtle became a metaphor for business leaders who face incredible odds in trying to leave a legacy, and have to replace old strategies that no longer work in a hostile economic environment. Fascinating stuff! Just thinking more deeply about the turtle’s nest and applying the reasons why it interested him to real-life business situations helped this individual to come up with several different ways he can use this metaphor to help his clients.
- Fifth, capture your intellectual property in multiple mediums. Your credibility will increase when you are able to share your smarts in a variety of different ways such as articles, podcasts, videos and process visuals. If you choose to create a process visual, make sure that you use the right shape. The shapes that you choose are how you tell your story. For example, A Venn diagram is designed to demonstrate the intersection between multiple elements; a 2×2 matrix demonstrates the relationship between two variables; and a see-saw is all about balance.
- If you get "writer's block" don't give up and don’t go it alone. If you have a hard time accessing your thoughts, find a thinking partner to help you with the process.
- If you have an easy time accessing your thoughts but find it hard to getting them down on paper, consider whether or not you are judging your ideas as you are trying to capture them. If so, try to write your ideas for yourself and your own enjoyment and give up the pressure of having to get it perfect the first time. Getting into the practice of writing in a journal or other safe medium is a great way to hone the skills of manifesting your ideas without the pressure of how your ideas will be received.
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