Good news for medium enterprises looking to innovate

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:

Corporate innovation per company dimension

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.

Learn how to leverage them and read more about the 4 myths keeping medium enterprises from innovating here

Andreia Agostinho Dias, Sales Executive
Diana Neves de Carvalho, Exago’s CEO

Don’t miss out on the latest upgrades of Exago idea management software

Today, we’re announcing new features and improvements on Exago Smart and Exago Open to help innovation managers perform better, while increasing process efficiency and the thoroughness of the idea evaluation stage. This set of upgrades also includes new layout, language and technical developments to improve communication with and among users.

Our goal is to provide a more appealing experience for participants and, in return, a more efficient and easier idea management process for you.

 

GET A MORE FLEXIBLE AND THOROUGH PROCESS MANAGEMENT

  • The option of having multiple managers per challenge: Multiple managers can now validate, transition and assess ideas, thus improving the overall quality of the process and the flow of the idea management funnel. Tasks can be shared and ideas can be reviewed by different experts per challenge, gathering diverse perspectives and enhancing idea analysis as a whole.
  • A new Key Tasks menu: The new menu organises all the tasks to make sure managers know exactly what needs to be done and when, in the three phases of the process – idea validation, evaluation and transition. In addition, new notifications alert reviewers of pending evaluations, while pop-up banners inform managers on their current tasks on login. This gives extra visibility to everyone’s responsibilities, ensures the process runs smoothly, reduces the chances of bottlenecks and increases programme efficiency. In the transition phase in particular, managers can now also easily identify the best-ranked ideas and compare evaluation dimensions (e. g., expected ROI vs implementation costs) for more robust decision-making.
  • Improved layout and usability in the review rating system: Both the new rating system functionality and its layout enhance the process of evaluating and commenting on an idea. Bringing more flexibility to users, a new edit option also allows reviewers to go back and adjust their feedback if needed.
  • A new, more complete text editor: Anyone using the platform, be it managers or users, can now easily adjust and organise all text shared with an updated, more flexible content editor.

 

ENSURE STRONGER AND MORE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

  • Updated platform language tone: The English, Portuguese and Spanish versions have been carefully reviewed for a more welcoming and appealing user experience.
  • A mobile version with extended features: Exago mobile version now includes a news page to keep participants fully informed and aligned with the initiative, among other upgrades.
  • Refreshed and shareable news page: With a new layout and more engaging navigation, you can now find the news that really interest you more easily and spread the word using the social media share option.

Watch for some exciting announcements soon!

 

Why are medium enterprises still failing to innovate?

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are still failing to innovate, and those that don’t keep up with the creative and innovative pace will inevitably fall behind. The intense competition that SMEs face requires them to reconsider their competitive positions and embrace innovation to enhance business competitiveness.

To do so, innovation must be embedded in the organisational structures, processes, products and services of any medium-sized company.

Businesses whose products adapt to the needs of target customers – marketed faster and more efficiently than their competitors – are better positioned to create sustainable competitive advantage. The data available keeps us on alert mode:

on average, it takes less than one year before competitors copy your products.

Though companies can reap the biggest rewards from innovation, the truth is it’s not always that easy to launch successful idea management initiatives and find a cost-effective balance where SMEs can truly sustain competitive advantages. To stay ahead of the innovation race, medium enterprises must first overcome some misconceptions.

There are four myths that often block the path to success. The first myth we will look into next is that, in innovation, size doesn’t matter. Or does it?

Andreia Agostinho Dias, Sales Executive
Diana Neves de Carvalho, Exago’s CEO

Learn more about the The 4 myths keeping medium enterprises from innovating here

Hallo Innovator! Exago Smart innovation management software is now in German

Exago Smart innovation management software can now be used by German speakers in their own language. With the new version, the Exago enterprise-grade solution becomes available in nine language options, enabling over a million people worldwide to share ideas and insights and contribute to their company’s innovation and business goals.

German users in any organisation can now navigate the platform in their mother tongue. Thanks to Google Translate API integration, multinational organisations who adopt Exago in several languages simultaneously can also have immediate content translation, promoting collaboration across different countries and cultures.

Adaptable to specific innovation processes and workflows, Exago Smart was built for inclusive collaboration and to make innovation grow in large enterprises. It facilitates idea management and ensures sharper results with a patented, smart crowd selection mechanism based on prediction markets.

Besides German, Exago’s most advanced product edition is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese versions.

How can medium enterprises innovate successfully?

Though not always fully recognised, Small to Medium Enterprises are the root of economic growth and job and wealth creation. They play a vital role in the global economy, strongly contributing to employment rates, innovation and growth. For instance, in the European Union they represent 99.8% of all enterprises, where they generate 60% of GDP, and provide 70% of employment in the private sector.

Yet, such a fundamental role is only possible if SMEs are able to continue reinventing themselves in order to innovate actively and remain relevant.

First suggested in 1931, the theory of innovation dynamics proposed by the founding father of innovation, Joseph Schumpeter, is more fitting now than it has ever been: the generation of new ideas and ways of doing is imperative for economic growth. All organisations, no matter how small or large, are facing challenges today that were unheard of only a generation ago.

Trade liberalisation and the movement of financial capital, paralleled by the information and communication technology development, have accelerated this trend exponentially.

This means that companies must decide wisely, fast and continuously how to invest and use an array of new methods and technologies while fighting to compete on a global stage.

According to Schumpeter, the only way to respond to this growing competitive business environment is to develop an economy based on innovations, knowledge and educated people. And nowhere is this fight to succeed more marked than in medium-sized companies.

Why then do medium enterprises still fail to innovate? We’ll see that next.

Andreia Agostinho Dias, Sales Executive
Diana Neves de Carvalho, Exago’s CEO

Learn more about the The 4 myths keeping medium enterprises from innovating here