I was chatting with a good friend of mine whose company does work with organizations to analyze the value of ongoing IP and R&D. Ardent Research looks at current R&D and patent activity, surveys progress along that research, competitiveness against similar projects at other companies, and unique thought leadership that might give Ardent’s clients and advantage. In evaluating current IP, gauging the progress and value of current research and patents for organizations, I occurred to me that the value of current IP could be correlated with the aggregate value of competencies within the organization.
This is one of those arguments where I’d like to suggest that in most companies, the HR function simply does not know nearly enough about the business to really serve appropriately. Let’s face it, if an organization’s patent and IP work is strong in specific areas, requires faster growth, more concentration, or diversification, and the organization has the appropriate roadmap and survey work to back up that plan, then theoretically HR should have two things:
- HR knows the strengths and weaknesses of it’s senior talent. By understanding the state of current patent and IP work, HR should also be able to correlate the aggregate talent and competency within the organization to complete a specific type of work.
- If HR knows what weaknesses exist by examining the progress if IP, then HR also knows what to be recruiting for in a short, mid and possibly long term recruiting strategy.
We simply can’t depend on managers in the business to identify recruiting and competency requirements for us. We know that they are always under cost constraints, and if there is a required competency or position to fill, it’s always requested late. Recruiters don’t know about needs until after those needs are required, and as much position management and planning that can be done does not usually help when the business P&L runs against the logic of optimal staffing.
In general, I think that aligning with an organization like Ardent who works with the business closely, and attempting to correlate their findings with what we already know about competencies can create incredible possibilities for talent planning. I honestly don’t know if anyone out there is doing correlations between patent portfolios and senior talent requirements, but it’s probably something we should start thinking about. We may not be ready for this type of analysis today, but I’d like to think that in 3-5 years when our core talent systems and programs are in place, this type of analysis becomes more possible