Benefits of a Global Mindset to the Administrative Backbone of an Intellectual Property Department
Maja Schmitt, Head of Global Administration, DSM, Netherlands
The backbone of a well-functioning Intellectual Property department is made up of three major elements: the people, the systems and the processes that connect those people and systems.
This paper looks at some of the experiences gained during the first 12 months of a transition from having administrative staff spread across many international locations, working predominantly locally, into a coherent team with a single global mindset.
Initially the main goal was to iron out demand peaks and balance workloads. Peaks occur, for example, when some people in one location are overloaded and others with less to do cannot easily help their colleagues due to natural variation in the way the work is being carried out.
The main challenge was to develop revised workflows, processes and procedures as well as achieve universal buy-in for the way the administrative work was to be carried out.
We found that the key to successful change towards a global mindset was being able to recognize that which is essential, which should be the same and happen globally, and that which is not essential, which can be different and happen locally. There was of necessity a need to continue to provide a consistent high-quality service throughout the change process. Going forward, it was imperative to ensure that standardized ways of working would become the new norm while continuing to be updated as required. As part of this, it was important to enhance the guidance available to the administrative team, including progressing career paths and personal development by means of coaching, motivation, and development.
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