The Challenge: Your Signature System
Capturing your IP (intellectual property – your thoughts) is one of the many challenges for small businesses seeking to grow. It’s how to write down their signature system:. This is the significant steps involved in conveying value from them to their customers. Most importantly, a key element in developing a signature system is writing down each step. First, we need to capture the IP in each of the steps only the owner or founder of the business knows – it’s stuck in their head.
One of the best ways to do this is capturing your IP on Pink Sheets, created by Matt Church, Peter Cook, and Scott Stein in Thought Leaders Practice. If you want to read more, get Think by Matt Church and Peter Cook.
Here’s a quick summary. It’s not about describing detailed steps. That comes later in process modelling. It’s about summarizing your idea, your process in one or two simple sentences that explain the whole thing. You might create several different ways of operationalizing it.
Capturing Your IP
Start with the concept: a high-level description of the process step that you’re trying to capture. It has two elements: the statement, for example, “there’s a better way to answer client calls;” and the explanation: “you answer client calls by …” Then move to the story. Give the best example of answering a client call that you know. The study is any supporting documents, best practices, or theories that you used to develop this idea, for example, from communication best practices. You might use them to operationalize the concept, The model is a visual representation of the process step and will usually be a ‘left-to-right’ flow chart that documents the broad steps of the idea. The metaphor offers an alternative explanation of the process drawn from a different context. For example, transport might provide a good metaphor for a phone call, in that you’re trying to transport a message.