Hanns Hallesius is a Senior Advisor, Search, Interim & Management Consultant, who has worked as an attorney both in-house and in private practice.
We sat down with him to talk about the industry, including his focus on creating overlap between IP knowledge and other business competences to enable smart, strategic choices, and the services he provides in strategy, operations, and leadership.
RH – Tell us a little about what you do Hanns.
HH – What I focus on is about creating the overlap between in depth IP knowledge and other critical business competences so that people in various functions can understand one another and work together. I have seen far too many situations where someone with a strong IP understanding but maybe limited business understanding and someone with a limited IP understanding but a strong business understanding are discussing something that is business critical but they don't understand one another. When this happens you can't do anything that is strategically right. Things happen too much by chance. Only when you enable the two parties, IP and business to have a common understanding and a common language can you begin to make smart, intelligent and truly strategic choices.
RH – What makes you qualified for this?
HH, - I have always been a generalist. When I was in private practice while my colleagues were studying for EQEs, I was in a management position doing an MBA. I have always sought roles where I could combine my generalist profile and IP knowledges to work for broader strategic purposes.
I have also spent a number of years leading the global IP function of a Multi-National Company, where these challenges are a key part of the role.
RH – You serve what types of clients?
HH – To put it short, IP specialists/attorneys aiming to understand business better and businesspeople looking to understand IP. The clients are typically companies, ranging from small to large and with or without an internal IP function. But I also serve IP law firms and other IP service providers as well as investors.
I typically provide services in three areas: strategy, operations, and leadership. The first is mainly about developing and implementing IP strategy. Operations are in principle about finding the right tools and processes for the organisation and to secure that they are managed efficiently. Leadership is all about people and organisation, as well as IP culture. This typically also includes IP training.
RH- Tell me more about the training, how do you deliver it?
HH – In different ways according to the participants. You can bring both IP and businesspeople together in a strategy game where IP is just a part of a business strategy discussion. Then you have learnings on both ends. Sitting down like this you can identify and work through the problems.
In addition to workshops/hands-on training I partner with a provider of an E-learning platform that provides bitesize interactive modules that people can work through. It is very important to fit the training to the organisation, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
RH – What trends in IP are you noticing?
HH- 20 years ago I hardly ever saw anyone calling themselves an IP strategist - whatever that is. Today more and more people use this title and think it says something about what they're delivering, and I think that's a positive thing. We’re living in a complex world and there's a lot of talk about technology developments and digitalisation opportunities. What I am focused on is trying to help companies truly integrate IP better with the IP business strategy.
RH – Currently you are a sole practitioner, any plans to scale up the business?
HH – Although I am a sole practitioner presently, I cooperate with other people on larger projects. This business is still in an exploratory mode at the moment and I'm still testing stuff. But, I don't picture myself running a one man show for long term future, but then again, I enjoy flying solo right now.
RH- Many thanks Hanns.