Motivating with Analytics (How to Inspire Your Team With Patent Data)

August 11, 2017 David Bennett

Managers in every field struggle to motivate their employees to perform to their fullest potential. Though approaches vary among managers, you can increase your team’s motivation with two simple principles - and patent data can help.

1. Set Clear Goals.

Setting goals may seem like an obvious approach to motivating your team of patent practitioners, yet many managers struggle to maintain their team’s drive long enough to achieve the goals that have been set. This is often because the temporary inspiration and enthusiasm that is created by merely setting a goal eventually fades away, and what remains is an ambiguous target and a team that is discouraged because their effort does not translate into measurable progress. Managers can use patent data to keep their teams motivated by tracking their performance as they focus on clear and precisely defined goals.

On the level of a patent application, patent data analysis can be used to predict the likelihood that the patent application will be granted, the amount of time a patent application will remain in prosecution, and the amount of money a patent application will cost based on the number of office actions and RCEs that are expected, as well as the likelihood that an appeal will be necessary. Patent analysis software allows patent practitioners to make these predictions by directly comparing their patent applications to similar patent applications that have been filed with the USPTO in the past. The statistics of these comparable patent applications can be used as performance markers for your patent prosecution strategy. By setting goals, such as to keep the number of office actions below average for your assigned patent examiner, your team has defined targets to shoot for and can then take the necessary steps to ensure that they hit those targets.

On a higher level, patent data can be used to create unity among the individual members of a team by providing metrics to be met by the team as a whole. Well-rounded patent analytics software, such a LexisNexis PatentAdvisor®, allows users to create and analyze the patent data and statistics of customizable patent portfolios. By creating a portfolio of the patent applications being prosecuted by your team, you can then identify team strengths and areas for improvement. Your team can also analyze the patent portfolio data of other companies and law firms - creating motivation for your team to not only perform better than they have in the past, but to also outperform their closest competitors.

2. Create a Feeling of Ownership.

It has been shown that employees (including patent practitioners) become more engaged in their work and perform better when they have a feeling of ownership over the work they are doing. Managers can increase the feeling of ownership that their employees experience by involving them in the decisions that influence their work and by giving them the ability to make decisions and carry out their work through the use of their own judgment. By providing your team with access to patent analysis software, you give your team the resources they need to plan, report, and evaluate their own patent applications, and to support their decisions with patent data analysis. Your team will feel more involved, feel more invested, and experience greater motivation from the ownership they feel over the work assigned to them. As a manager, you will be able to understand the decisions your team makes, giving you a greater capacity to trust them and giving them confidence from the autonomy they have been granted.

PatentAdvisor™ patent analysis software enables you to set clear, defined goals for the individuals within your team and for your team as a whole using patent application and portfolio data. Patent analysis tools enable you to involve your team in the decisions that impact their work - creating a sense of ownership that they have never felt over their work. PatentAdvisor allows you to use patent data to motivate your team like never before. 

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