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Flat, Fast and Focused

Season 3 Episode 6

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Episode 6  in Season 3 of the Cipher Vision Podcast series features Lorie Goins, Head of IP Strategy, Kyndryl.

She shares with us how to approach innovation, by adopting a questioning, inclusive and analytical mindset, drawing on tools to form evidence-based decisions that enhance your business and IP strategy.

She chats to the hosts of the Cipher Vision podcast, who are:

Listen to Lorie’s key takeway

Conversation Highlights

Marrying business and IP strategy

I am an IP attorney, but I focus on the business side, bringing that business background, the technology background, the legal background.

Making sure that we’re aligning our business strategy and our IP strategy. And that’s why I sit in the office of the CTO and not in a legal department.

Navigating the heritage of IBM

For 29 years straight, IBM was the number one assignee of patents from the USPTO. So that 29 years of rich heritage of being the patent leader, has been indoctrinated into a lot of the leadership that we have at Kyndryl.

It makes my job easier initially, because they understand that IP is important.

I like to say patents are the most tangible of the intangibles. It’s something that can be directly measured. So in that regard, having that heritage is beneficial.

What is the definition of innovation?

IP does not equal just patents. So at Kyndryl, we are focused on expanding that to be innovation. 

I like to simplify it to the effect that you’re providing incremental improvement to deliver value and that value can be to the customer or to the company itself. 

And that’s really where the flat,  fast and focused comes in. We’re empowered to question everything, try to figure out, is there a better way to do things? 

How does analytics help your IP strategy

We don’t wake up saying, what tool can I go find today that can make my job easier?

But if you do question everything, and you stop and think, are we really doing the right thing? That leads itself to thinking about tools.

That’s really why you have to do analytics, and tools like Cipher can really assist in that regard, taking your portfolio and analysing it and understanding it. 

The goal is to figure out what is the best option that fits the corporate needs, and then implement that so that we are providing the best protection possible.

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Driving innovation through diversity

I’m learning a lot from my peers, things like the ADAPT programme. Shout out to Braxton Davis with The NCPP.

Internally, I’m focusing on trying to understand what may be keeping a particular group from being inventors.

I’m heading to India tomorrow, for the purpose of understanding our inventor population and helping them submit more patent ideas. And one of the things that I’m doing is getting a group of women together to understand what may be keeping you in India from submitting more inventions as a female, and so if I can understand the foundational aspects, then I can work to change that and improve it. 

Our inventors throughout the world are in 60 countries. So what motivates or deters in one country is different than another. I want to figure out at least common denominators that we can remove as barriers so that we can get more females initially, and then we’ll start expanding out to the different underrepresented groups.

What does the future hold?

I view innovation as a mindset. It’s not just a term that’s associated with intellectual property.

I feel we’ve got that opportunity right now to question everything and figure out a better way of doing things. We are reinventing ourselves, replacing old infrastructure and systems with industry best of breed products.

Innovation for Kyndryl is an opportunity, we can take that flat, fast, focused mentality and apply it to ourselves, which then gives us a great foundation to do that for our customers and say, ‘look, if we can do it for ourselves at 90,000 employees, think of what we can do for you as well’. 

Lorie’s key takeaway

Don’t be afraid to question everything. The only constant we have is change. 

Take the time to ask the basic questions. Why are we doing what we’re doing? Should we be doing something different? What is our goal? Is there a better way to accomplish our goal? 

If it makes you uncomfortable to think of asking these questions, then you probably should be asking more questions like this, not less.

Nigel’s key takeaway

In the world of IP, it’s tempting to focus on patents as the most tangible of intangibles. But there are many parts to protecting the intellectual property of an organisation, from trademarks to trade secrets, and everything in-between.

IP strategy is the essential function within all businesses to optimise protection and exploitation of these assets, in a way that aligns and stays aligned with business strategy.

Lorie epitomises what it takes to lead IP strategy in a new organisation. Assume Nothing, listen to everyone from corporate executives to the engineers, make evidence based decisions. 

Be innovative, in a world of technological change that is fast and furious. Strive to understand those improvements that will add value to your organisation. 

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