Learning objective

After reading the component, you will be aware of the importance of internal proposals developed in the company. In many countries and regions in Europe the majority of Small and Medium sized companies (SMEs) do not have a dedicated Research & Development (R&D) department. Under these circumstances, smaller continuous improvements of products and services play an important role. Employees in their workplaces who deal with machines, orders, materials and work processes on an everyday basis are aware of where improvements could make their work easier and more effective. In SME without R&D departments, staffs are a continuous source for innovation. In order to use the pool of ideas, we have to create in our company, conditions for promoting creation, transfer and systematic management of innovative proposals.

The aim of this component is to raise awareness and give practical guidance of the management of internal innovation proposals. At the end, you will know the essential preconditions and ways for making better use and management of innovative proposals in the company.
It will take you about 30 minutes to go through this module. The application of tools, which you will find in the annex, while doing the exercises, will require additional time.

Introduction

In many countries and regions in Europe SMEs without R&D potentials are predominating. Under these circumstances, smaller continuous improvements of products and services play an important role.

People working in a firm will always have ideas, they will try to improve something, but they have to do this in an environment where rules have to be followed. Has any worker on the assembly line the authority to make changes that he thinks will improve its efficiency? We suppose not. So are we going to throw away the idea? Of course not. Regardless of size, any firm that wants to have good results has to think of a systematic management of internal proposals: how to stimulate them, how to put them into practice, how to reward the initiators, etc. However under the pressure of the daily work and stress, some firms will neglect this aspect. This is a mistake. Another mistake will be to expect early benefits of managing the ideas and suggestions for improvement. It could take many months, but if properly set up, the system cultivating ideas generation from staff will bring its benefits and these should have impact.1

The module tries to help companies to organise such systematic management of internal innovative proposals, showing ways for motivating employees and giving guidance for the management of the process.

Please stop and think: what is the situation in your work environment? Can you remember lost opportunities or unsuccessful approach by an employee regarding suggestions for improvement or change?

 


1 InnoSupport: Supporting Innovations in SME. 4.7 Systematic management of internal innovative proposals, 2005

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4_6_Internal_innovative_Proposals.pdf

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