fistful of beans, blog, Toby Elwin

Fistful of beans 03/30/2011

Four things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results:

telwin toby elwin amajorc economist patent problem

1. Patent reform: The spluttering invention machine — The Economist

Innovation is the key to growth. Through patents innovation is further spurred.

Patents assure inventors reap rewards of their effort and publicize their discoveries – both important motivators for continued innovation.

Americans make 4 times as many patent applications per head as Europeans. Are excessive patents having the opposite effect?

March 8th the Senate passed the biggest overhaul to patent law since the 1950s. The bill would give the patent office the right to set its own fees and keep all proceeds; with an expectation to hire enough examiners to cut its backlog. This law would also align America with international practice by granting patents to the first person to file them.

Big technology companies complain of “patent trolls”:  companies that buy lots of obscure patents and then bombard alleged infringers with lawsuits.

The “trolls” argue that by making patents valued they are helping to create a market in invention that will encourage inventors.

Some think the new law will make it too easy and potentially lucrative to bring lawsuits for patentent infringement. Others wanted it easier to challenge patents.

2. Integrating Employees Into The Organization’s Culture — The Lift blog

Can your new hires tell you the vision and values of your company? Or the strategy and key business priorities? What if part of the on-boarding of new hires was to map their life mission and core values, yes their personal values, to those of the company’s.

Here is a proposal for a truly integrated on-boarding within 2 meetings. A rich dialogue to set your most important assets up for success through understanding, commitment, and ownership.

Come to think of it, imagine your current employees sitting down to tell you how their strengths map to the vision and values of the company…

3. Coaching in Context — Talent Management Magazine

While the economic crisis of the past 18 to 24 months has provided a temporary truce in the war for talent, high unemployment, and a belief that employees may just be thankful to have jobs, the post-crisis realities of managing talent are already beginning to shift.

As companies return to profitability, top performers will have external mobility options to meet career goals. What does coaching provide your organization?

4. Still too big to fail — CFO Magazine

Too-big-to-fail is defined as the government using taxpayer dollars to rescue “systemically important” banks.

Few debate that the expectation of bailouts provides banks little incentive to guard against excessive risk. Today the solutions being debated may elevate overall industry risk instead of subduing it.

“If government bailouts were absolutely prohibited, I would be very concerned that [the problems 3 years ago] would play out again and again,” says Ron Box, finance chief at Joe Money Machinery, a construction-equipment dealer.

Many CFOs think irresponsible management should suffer the consequences, but worry that, withough a government safety net, middle-market companies would be more vulnerable. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act does limit how far regulators will go in propping up a large bank.

This article highlights the role banking regulators have holding banks accountable without constricting access to credit that so many companies need.

Share your thoughts on these thoughts…

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