Despite European scientists’ high performance, the required progress and success has not been achieved in the European economy. The European Union is tackling the issue of competitiveness. In order to understand the root causes of this dilemma, we need to take a closer look at the practices of innovation management and the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the innovation process.
The EU based enterprises can stay globally competitive only if they invest in innovation and creativity. This has to be a conscious and persistent effort relying on training and learning rather than merely on luck and coincidence. This is all the more so, when we are referring to SMEs. Additional, collaboration management is an imperative need for SMEs, traditionally isolated and, in many cases, because of this isolation, striving to event the wheel. An effective educational method is needed, which can rapidly react and adapt to changes, and contribute to manage challenges. Among others the aim of INCREMENTA project is the development of IMS training material for SMEs, as far as collaboration management and creativity management is concerned, based on CEN/TS 16555 Innovation Management Standard.
Due to the changing global economic requirements, proactive leadership is based on foreseeing future events and predictions of the future state of the environment, instead of responding to the crises that have already occurred. The most important task of corporate strategies is to explore the possibilities of creating and preserving competitiveness and to identify and implement the necessary steps to utilize these opportunities. Innovation management is in the centre of corporate strategy and provides a framework of company culture as a hexagon symbol demonstrates it.
Innovation strategy as part of the corporate strategy fits into its objectives. The strategic intelligence management system gathers and provides data for - as described in Part 2 of CEN/TS 16555 Innovation Management Standard - achieving the above-mentioned targets. Reaching these results and working on innovation requires a specific set of tools and methods as each person within the organization is responsible for contributing to its growth. The most important keys to success are human factors: innovative thinking and charismatic leaders who support this work. A culture that supports innovation can be promoted by top management through idea support, communication, openness, conflict consciousness and failure tolerance.
Knowledge-transfer and the employees’ ability to collaborate are the core resources of organizations in order to realize their strategy and financial indicators. In a trusted organization information is shared openly, mistakes are seen as part of the learning process. Inner collaboration and creativity training are useful methods to improve these skills. The fifth and sixth parts of innovation management standard explain different forms of internal and external collaboration and creativity management.
The management shall make an intended decision on strategically important and high added value elements of corporate knowledge, the knowledge the company needs in the future. The fourth chapter of Innovation management standard on intellectual property management provides support for knowledge management.
These innovation-hexagons of corporates are related to other businesses. As it is well known, companies have their own organizational culture and the companies cooperate with other parts of the economy with different connection systems. Innovation management standard offers a framework of methodologies and breaks down the structural and cultural obstacles between organizations.
dr. Tengely Éva