Nothing new to say if we talk about how markets have increased “their sizes”. World is shrinking. From business point of view this is is a “nice” situation because markets enlarge and offer new and more business opportunities to all companies.
But unfortunately, if we see “the other side of the coin”, this advantage might turn into a serious challenge for many companies because at the same time they have more field to move around, they found much more competitors on the ground. Today, we are moving from small and “controlled business battlegrounds” to a big and “unpredictable world battleground”. Markets have turn out to be large and endless “crossfire battlefields”. More “people” working and looking at the same targets. More people “shooting” from different hills to everybody. But, “cowboy companies” have no many possibilities to survive.
To make things worst not all “the shooters” have the same ammunition. Some of the players are “the markets big fishes” (Corp). They are multinational corporations with much more financial, technical, manufacturing, and marketing resources.
So what it is supposed to be an advantage it might turn out to be a business disadvantage for many companies. Under these market scenarios, it is true that the main advantages of the Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) are their “flexibility” and “adaptability” to markets. But these advantages are not enough. If they want to survive and grow they need to work out their own innovation capabilities. They need to find more efficient “guns”.
But how to get them?. How to do it with the scarce resources available?. And where to find the right experts to make build them?. How to hire them?. How to build an experts team inside our organization for a key project?. How to afford the costs?. How long the project will be alive?, and after that, when the project is over, what to do with the people?, will it be possible to “recycle” them?.
To all these questions there are two answers. One is to go for the people and take the uncertainty risk associated with such a decision or look for your company new business ecosystem on Open Innovation.
In the B2B world, companies might find the synergies that they need in their environment, between their suppliers and partners. They have the chance to look at their supply chains and identify from all their suppliers, which ones can provide them more than low cost supplies. Between all of them for sure they will find some suppliers that might help them to build new business ecosystems. Inside these new environments the “chain links” of the chain supply are more than just providers of raw materials at low cost. They should look for technical support and advantage in order to add their internal capacities their suppliers ones.
The Open Innovation model that has been proven very useful for big corporations like Intel, IBM, and Procter and Gamble, is also valid and useful for SMEs, especially under the above mentioned scenarios. Using conveniently the potentiality that Open Innovation model offers inside the SMEs networks, the small and medium size companies might find a good “ammunition” to defend themselves in the new world market “ground fields”.
But, what Open Innovation model offers?. To know more about that, we suggest you watch the following video of Henry Chesbrough. It is an interesting presentation of how companies can benefit from “outside Innovation ideas”. This video is a good “food for thought”.
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