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10 Reasons to Protect Your Intellectual Property

September 22, 2015 / Leave a comment / by Jason Webb

When it comes to protecting your Intellectual Property business owners need to be on the up and up. 

But why does someone need to protect their IP? 

Faculty member, and IP attorney Jason Webb outlines Ten Reasons to Protect Your Intellectual Property

I found the points Jason mentions made me think outside the box, and rethink the importance of protecting IP as a business owner. My summary is below, and I highly recommend reading Jason's article for a more detailed explanation. 

The 10 Reasons are:

10) Control 

Whoever has the right, has the control. It's that simple.

9) Ownership/Legitimacy

As the legitimate owner of your IP gain respect and have influence on those who can help you move your business forward. 

8) Attraction

A passive benefit that helps to attract talent, alliances, customers and more.

7) Free 'Invisible' Defense 

Every patent or trademark an attorney will search results in them protecting the rights of the patent or trademark owner - for free.

6) Leverage 

Create win-win situations when professional negotiations and conflicts arise.

5) Cost Reduction 

Save time and money (time is money of course) by reducing the likelihood of being involved in litigations.

4) Greater Profits

IP owners typically have higher margins than those who sell commodities or unprotected goods/services.

3) Strong Exit Opportunities 

When moving into your exit strategy, investors are looking for the assets that can be transferred and will survive if you left the company. 80% or more of those assets can be your intellectual property. Its a matter of earning $200K or $1M for your company - the difference is protected IP.

2) Big Dog Respect 

If you want to play big, you've gotta protect big - thus earning the respect of the 'Big Dogs' in your industry.

1) Relevance 

 

September Dohrmann | CEO of CEO Space International 

7 Tips to Finding the Perfect Entrepreneurial Development Community

September 18, 2015 / Leave a comment / by Dr. David Gruder

Back in 2010, after three decades of being a successful entrepreneur, I found myself searching for resources in entrepreneurial development that could help me fill in my business gaps. I knew what some of the gaps were - and I also knew that I didn’t know what I didn't know. I needed help. 

Then one day, someone sent me a Facebook Friend request. After accepting I started receiving notifications of a local meetings for an entrepreneurial development community I had never heard of.

After a few months of ignoring the notifications, I suddenly felt compelled to attend one of the meetings.

At first I walked away thinking it was either a quantum breakthrough in entrepreneur development or it was the latest snake oil. 

Fortunately, I keep an open mind and I found myself discovering something far more useful than snake oil. I found the tools I needed to fill in my business gaps (known and unknown)... and then some. 

Over the years I've discovered seven elements that make the perfect entrepreneurial development community and I believe others could benefit from knowing what I've learned. 

 

1 ALIGNED CORE VALUES

Find an organization that can help you hyper-grow from each stage of your business. Seek a place whose mission is not only to serve its community but to demonstrate that businesses can be highly profitable through effective collaboration instead of dysfunctional competition. (Which is totally in alignment with how I like to roll.) 

 

2 HEART BASE TEAMS

Don’t just seek a skills development organization. Seek one that’s also 'heart-based' of like-minded entrepreneurs and experts who support one another as human beings and who are committed to creating success with others. 

 

3 SELECTIVE MEMBERSHIP

An entrepreneur community is only as good as its members that are integrious, collaborative and successful. The best way to safeguard that kind of culture is through acquiring its members mostly by word of mouth and by encourage personal vetting of each prospect for suitability. 

 

4 TRANSPARENT EDUCATION

Entrepreneurs fail because they don’t know what they don’t know and are unwilling to discover potential gaps. Seek a community that provides an industry-leading blend of full-spectrum entrepreneur knowledge & practical skills development.

 

5 EXPERT ADVISE

Knowledge and skills mean nothing if you don’t know how to apply them and what to watch out for. This is why it’s so important for entrepreneurs to be able to consult with experts in all aspects of business development. Select a community that provides unlimited access to the experts (speakers) as part of your membership. 

 

6 KEY CONNECTIONS

So you’ve got knowledge, skills, and top-quality advising. But how are you going to make the contacts your business requires in each stage of its development? A top quality entrepreneur community revolves around collaborative networking processes.

Unfortunately typical trade shows don’t always provide this. Find a community whose networking approach can open virtually any door your business will need access to at each point in its development — not just the connections it needs today.

 

7 LIFETIME SUPPORT FOR EVOLVING GROWTH

A business isn’t built in a week or a month or a year.  A lifetime membership type of set up (that meets multiple times a year) is one that’s continually there for you.

In other words, it serves you as your business continues to evolve from one developmental phase to the next; from concept through exit.

Entrepreneurs ordinarily stay with their business for anywhere between five years and the rest of their lives. And if they exit after only 5-10 years they most frequently go on to start another business. Therefore, anything less than lifetime membership is not an entrepreneur development organization or community, it’s an attend-and-forget-it event. If you’re serious about entrepreneurship, look for a lifetime membership organization.

The one I found was what I had secretly always wanted but had never believed existed.

With that said, I've come to the understanding that if one is serious about building a successful career as an entrepreneur they owe it to themselves to find an Entrepreneur Development Community that supports them 100% in accomplishing that goal. 

Authentic Leadership: 4 Principles that Create a High Impact Business

September 09, 2015 / Leave a comment / by Bill Stierle

 

Creating a high impact business requires an authentic leader that fosters loyal teams, builds trust with new clients, and inspires hard work and efficiency.

Yet, in business we run into many challenges that can create emotional charges for us as individuals.

For example, it can feel frustrating when learning a new software program, or become angry with teams that are performing below ability, or we can get annoyed when someone asks about bookkeeping details when we're brainstorming in a strategic planning meeting.

There's a way to use emotions and needs as tools to develop an authentic leadership that can replace the 'driven problem solver'. 

With these four principles of emotional intelligence’s you can create communication ease, work flow effectiveness and generate authentic leadership.

So why does emotional intelligence create a higher business impact?

Because customers and employees crave connection and meaning, these are increased by vulnerability and sharing our humanness. Across almost all business metrics people buy and buy-in from connection.

 

1. Shift 'Judgment' to 'Observation'

So, what’s the difference? Judgment focuses on how things that “should” or “should not” be.

Judgmental words cause physiological changes in the body preventing clarity, understanding, and connection. Getting stuck in a black-and-white thinking, physically creates the flight, fight, or freeze reaction in the body.

Being the observer of a situation allows us to communicate and act clear-headedly about the fact of the matter.

By noticing what “is” provides clarity and decisiveness to act. Word choice matters.  Authentic leaders have courage to bring bad news early and express things honesty.

 

2. Increase your Emotional Vocabulary

“Human beings are born with the emotional capacity of a symphony orchestra yet most people walk through life blowing through a tin whistle.” Rollo May.

While working with the company’s top employee, Jessica’s manager reprimands her in front of others. If she uses a rational thought of, “I’ll just push through and ignore my anger,” and as she continues working, tension builds and emotions accumulate over time. 

So when her boss points out a future mistake. She blows up, “nothing is ever good enough for you!”  By ignoring her anger, it got worse.  

When we're feeling something, especially minor, and don’t express your feelings and needs, it builds the emotional load like a volcano.  

Authentic leadership develops a broad emotional vocabulary that safely engages communication early. Naming feelings and needs effectively reduces the emotions inside others as well as ourselves.  

With low emotional expression, both Jessica and her manager can trigger each other affecting the work environment.

Cultivate the thought that emotions are only indicators; like a car’s oil light. Thinking the oil light is problematic for businesses, causes issues to go unaddressed and get worse.

Emotional management is a multi-billion dollar loss in productivity, HR issues, and talent turnover. Authentic leadership observes rising emotions and learns to become curious and inquires what need the emotion is indicating.

 

3. Identifying and connecting Needs to Emotions

“At the core of all anger [emotion] is a need that is not being fulfilled,” Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D.

Emotions connected to a need causes it to immediately reduce the physiological response, thus subsiding the emotion. The body relaxes. The language association restores clarity and perspective and will prevent the emotion from replaying in the future.  

The authentic leader focuses on fulfilling the need of the employee or customer. 

George is attending a banquet celebrating the completion of their 6-month building project. As the assistant director it wouldn’t have been successful without him.

The MC only announces gratitude to program director, Suzanne. George feels disheartened, “without me this project wouldn’t have been successful.” George’s need for acknowledgment and recognition were not met, triggering his pain.

George’s options:

1) Suppress his feelings, becoming a “nice dead person”

2) Carry resentment becoming “monster person”

3) Rationalize the emotion, “talking to the oil light” attempting to soothe himself or

4) Self Empathy.

George needed acknowledgment and recognition by being mentioned with Suzanne.

An authentic leader develops the ability to express clearly what their needs are, thus de-escalate the body’s emotions.

 

4. Making Clear Requests

George’s clear, present request would be to ask; Suzanne or a colleagues, “Would you be willing to acknowledge the hard work I put into the project?

But how does George get his needs met after the fact?  

Authentic leadership checks in using empathy before problem solving.

Suzanne “George, in this moment, what can I say or do to acknowledge you and your efforts moving forward?”  

This type of questioning provides George the opportunity to get clarity on the next best thing and open an engaging conversation.  

 

The bottom line is, being a leader is to provide the vision to lead your team forward. And an authentic leader puts the heart in the process of communication. Knowing how to self-manage our emotions and connect needs reduces conflict, allowing us to work from our strengths, managing shortcomings, and being  a more effective authentic leader as well.

 

Sources:  Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language for Life.

 

Business Growth Conference Free Guide

How to Develop Strategic Plans in an Ever Changing Environment

September 02, 2015 / Leave a comment / by Ed Bogle

From Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock in the 1970’s to Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book The Black Swan, we have been told time again that change is the only constant in today’s global business climate.

So, the big question is how does a business deal with this from a strategic planning perspective?  

Historically, planning has been based on the probability of certain conditions continuing into the future. 

Today's unpredictability often comes with great speed and is most of the time discontinuous from the past. Company executives are expected to read the trends and define the future of the company, and how it will reshape its competencies to continue to grow. The key is to find the early warning signs and opportunities gained from change. 

As the leader of your company the first thing to do is embrace change.

Encourage collaborative dialogues with your team about changes for strategic advantages and profitability for your organization, your customers and potential customers. 

The second part is to carefully define your brand strategy. 

In an ever changing world defining your brand, culture, promise, value, position, and language becomes critical. You have to cut through a great deal of clutter to build a great brand, and the absolute ingredient is to define your market target segments as tight as possible by “immersing” yourself in the lifestyles, use of products and services your target markets desires.

Your leadership team needs to shift from a love of its product, to a love for the customer.  And understanding your customers fully will help you fulfill their needs in unique and creative ways. Apple has done this very well. 

The third part is to define the long term vision of the company.

At the core of all business success is a clear and concise vision of where the company is headed. From there, define the value to the market (target customer segments) and evolve the company value to those segments over time. 

Focusing on value creation and simplifying while driving out cost and complexity will result in the creation of sustainable profits and defensible market positions.

These defensible positions are built over time and are known as Strategic Excellence Positions or SEPs. They're the distinctive capabilities that clearly sets you apart from others in your industry. SEPs are backed by a set of core competencies, capabilities and processes that create special value to key target customers and alliance partners.

The web world is where brands are authenticated and validated. Cutting through the clutter of the web can seem daunting. But the silver lining is that it creates an opportunity for a company to find customers, and gain insight as to how those customers are valuing brands.

The key to success in the web world is target segments. The tighter the segmenting the easier it is to build a great value proposition and find target customers with content.  

One more thing to note: 

Managing change means being nimble and able to shift directions effectively. 

One of the ways to build a lean and nimble organization is to outsource, build alliances and find partnerships that give the company greater value to the target markets, and collaborate on being creative in bundling and co-branding. 

At the forefront of the future of business growth acceleration is cooperation and collaboration. Finding alliance partners, mentors, master minds and those that will challenge and open your thinking to new models and being opportunistic in change is a process you must build to survive and thrive.  

A great way to find the resources and alliances is to scout out enviroments that you feel in alignment with such as an entrepreneurial growth conference. At CEO Space you have access to top level resources that serve to give you acceleration and significant risk mitigation as you move your company forward.