Medium enterprises fit right in the middle of the innovation spectrum, between the resources of large multinationals and the flexibility of its smaller peers. Size does matter. They face several barriers in their path to good innovation management, such as limited resources to invest, lack of incentives and innovation infrastructure, and shortage of innovation specialists. But there is some good news, too.
If you are leading innovation management efforts in a medium company, remember that the following is playing in your favour:
- Medium companies still have flexibility in their structures;
- You have more resources than smaller companies – and research has shown that radical innovations can also occur within a context of tight slack resources, without requiring a full team devoted to innovation;
- Your company can also be more open to risk (but judiciously);
- Your reality often boasts close ties to your workforce, whether the company stems from a family business or a strong connection with the local community, making it easier to reach them.
The following table sums up this reality:
Taking all this into consideration, there is no single bulletproof formula for companies to innovate, but rather multiple possibilities. Very diverse companies find their own ways of bringing about fresh, impactful ideas, based on past experiments and all the knowledge gathered across industries.
All in all, innovation is not a pure science, and must be tailored to the size and reality of each company, founded on industry best practices.