There are two different philosophies in innovation management:
- Outsourcing innovation and digitization to your own departments
- bring the topic to a company’s specialist departments
Some companies use a mixed model: Certain types of innovation are implemented in departments, for others departments or temporary teams are created.
Innovation in medium-sized companies does not necessarily require their own departments.
Innovation management is often the task of all employees – literally from gatekeeper to management. Small and medium-sized enterprises are often more successful with the strategy of distributing innovation management to different heads in the company than with the establishment of their own departments. Why? SMEs are characterized by the fact that they develop innovative problem solutions for customers quickly and agilely.
In contrast to large corporations, where work is often manged through regulated procedures, medium-sized companies are more improvised. Improvisation is not negative, but the ability to adapt existing knowledge to the situation and apply it in a modified form. Distributing innovation throughout the entire company means using and strengthening the existing innovation culture. For specific tasks – for example certain projects – working groups are often formed, which dissolve after a certain time. Own departments for innovation management in medium-sized businesses only make sense if they are to implement concrete projects that are far removed from day-to-day business. For example, the development of digital innovations or radical product innovation.