Why is it easier for an SME to make an innovation shift?

Because they possess the right story and DNA to become innovation champions, masters and game-changers!

If we look back in time, most if not all SMEs were founded by (an) entrepreneur(s) having a clear business idea and the will and guts to create something from scratch!

They aspired to create and develop exciting and new ventures for themselves and for their families. This emotional and human-centered goal helped them to develop the skills, competences and tacit knowledge which allows them to continuously find ways to keep the business in motion, and often growing.

In today’s market, SMEs are the perfect sized business players. They are highly bendable, flexible and can very often count on a small but highly motivated teams of colleagues who are almost by definition hard working, productive, champions in multitasking and on top of that can often boast extensive and multidisciplinary experiences and specialist knowledge.

Do most of today’s SMEs also experience the tendency to fall into the Incremental trap? They usually are being managed by keeping a clear and focal eye on improving e.g. their products, services or business models. The young and visionary entrepreneur who fell in love with his/her idea, suddenly finds himself/herself ‘mutating’ into a manager, who’s only goal and purpose seems to be eternally reproducing his/her product in the market by introducing small changes, features, reducing costs, etc.

By implementing this kind of management orientation however, the entrepreneur will find himself/herself, his/her company and the products or services he/she is selling on the verge of becoming outdated and obsolete. Even his/her business model will no longer make sense, e.g. due to the rhythm of technological and other evolutions, new players in the market, or just because the consumers do not value his/her products/services anymore! And suddenly our entrepreneur finds himself/herself struggling in the price/cost equation global economic reality.

Suppose you are currently an extremely successful company in the construction scene, with a highly-demanded and brilliant new product around which you have been able to build a small empire. Question is: are you ready to face the entrance of a disruptive construction solution and ditto technology within the next 7 years due to which your product becomes completely obsolete? Did you prepare yourself already to be part of and/or a player in this new disruptive solution?

Did you already make a shift within your management paradigm by re-focusing on a ‘back to basics approach’?

If so, we are sure that you will be the one proposing the disruptive solution to the construction market within the next 7 years!

The right way to head, is going back to the entrepreneurial stage, were passion, willpower and perseverance to create something new gave the entrepreneur the adrenaline rush he/she aspired.

INNOKINETICS can assist you in looking back to that entrepreneurial era, taking a visual and sensorial picture and bringing you back to the pioneering stage of your SME. Our aim with this approach is to provide you with a new starting point for your renewed business adventure, through providing you with a learning process in which the critical drivers and the key success factors arise from your own experience.

Innovation must be the focal point of your company’s strategy as well as the reason why you wish to be an entrepreneur! The “picture” we ask you to take in this ‘going back in time’ exercise, will grant you an overview of all the elements you need to change and adapt in your company in order to create the innovation culture that will allow you to become an innovative company.

Contrary to large companies, this deep change is achievable for SMEs, even more so, it is achievable within an acceptable timeframe. SMEs just need to re-ignite the passion, the “fire” and motivational drivers which were so predominantly present in the early days of setting up the business. We need to re-awaken the mindset and the attitude from those exciting early days.

Another additional reason why we believe that SMEs are seated in pole position to achieve this shift is, as we in INNOKINETICS see it, because today’s innovation is all about people and thus centered on the social factor. So let me ask you the following question: who has a better direct connection and proximity to communities then SMEs?

Historically SMEs have always acted as one of the main and important pillars of community development, not in the least through the creation of local jobs or by sponsoring e.g. local social activities such as sports, NGO’s, etc.. If today’s innovation paradigm is to engage and connect with local communities, why are SMEs hesitant to take the lead?

By engaging and supporting people to re-connect with local businesses, SMEs can become innovation HUBs, fueled with people’s ideas to improve their quality of life, to solve economic gaps and detect innovation frictions and opportunities. In this sense, it is easier for SMEs in comparison to large companies to step out of the incremental trap, which most company managers fall into.

Some important strategic drivers to take into account in this paradigm shift are, e.g.:
1.It is no longer about solely supporting communities, it is about BUILDING and CREATING together with communities, “co-creating shared value” in Michael Porter’s terms.
2.It is no longer about seducing the consumer to engage into something by offering short-term, one-shot rewards; it is all about having the right behavior, values, transparency, local economic growth perspective that the consumers wish to ENGAGE into together with you and your business. The smart consumer needs to know that by helping you, they are as a result also helping local sustainable development.
3.It is no longer solely about pure raw competition; in today’s markets it’s as much about cooperation and NETWORKING, not only between SMEs but likewise within knowledge and purpose based networks which include SMEs, start-ups, academia, local and territorial governments, etc..

So, to wrap up, the future looks bright and promising for SMEs who constantly explore and aspire to rediscover their original pioneering DNA.

Those SME’s who engage in transforming this rediscovered pioneering DNA into a continuous flow of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, will be ready to go full speed ahead, and as a result, lead the shift towards a local high-value and sustainable community.
Photo credit: http://anyatank.ru/bengalskie-ogni/

Source : Innokinetics team — www.innokinetics.com

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