22.1. 2016 Blogi

Success through improved innovation ability

It’s important for companies to pay attention to their innovation ability, or the ability to produce commercial success through innovative power. But what does innovation ability mean?

Innovation is the buzzword of our time, and it is expected both to generate success for businesses and push the Finnish economy to a rise. There are certainly reasons for the expectations, but what is it about? Ideas, inventions, product development? Yes, those too, but it’s equally important for companies to pay attention to their innovation ability, or the ability to produce commercial success through innovative power. But what does innovation ability mean? It also means the company’s operating processes, service models, customer relations, atmosphere, corporate culture, and management.

Seven days with experts free of charge

Evaluation and measurement of the innovation ability may be challenging, but there are dedicated tools and services for that. A new EU-funded service aimed at SMEs that invest considerably in innovation activities was launched recently. It provides comparison of the company’s performance level with comparative data, a proposal and plan for actions, and expert days to support the development activities. The analysis takes less than half a day in the company, and the package includes in total a maximum of seven days with experts. The service is free of charge for the company, but there is no other external funding involved.

The content of the analysis is divided into five entities: innovation strategy, operating culture, lifecycles, enabling factors, and innovation results. The comparison data compiled in the database contains the confidential information from some 4,000 analyses. The comparison is based on statistical data, and the details of individual companies cannot be identified. Based on the analysis and a discussion with the company management, the goal is to find development items that enhance the company’s efficiency.

The development items may be any issues that come up in the analysis and can be improved within the service. Common development activities include updating of the strategy or business plan, and e.g. planning of funding for growth or preparation of a broader development project are other good examples of the opportunities offered by the service.

Who is it for?

The service is not really suited to the smallest and recently started companies, as the companies should have at least two years of operations behind and an organisation of around 10 people. It is also recommended that the company aims at international growth. The service is implemented as part of the Enterprise Europe Network, and in Finland the responsible parties are Turku Science Park Ltd and Finpro.

The development of a company’s operations requires contributions and effort; there a no quick wins on offer. However, the management’s focusing on the evaluation of the innovation ability and the discussion on the subject inspire ideas for finding and eliminating the bottlenecks in the operations.

Contact me and I’ll tell you more!

Olli Mankonen
The writer participates in providing Innovation Expert service at Turku Science Park Ltd. You’ll find Olli’s contact details here.