4.6.2 Why is it important to manage internal proposals properly?

Most SMEs in Europe cannot afford their own departments for research and development. If they want to be creative, innovative and competitive, they have to find other ways. This can be by cooperating with larger companies, cooperation in clusters (see 11.2) or with universities and research centres. However, a very important source for innovation and improvement of products, services and structures can be found by harnessing the creative potential of employees. This is a valuable resource, potentially the company’s most valuable resource, and must not be wasted. Moreover, it will strengthen the feeling of participation and satisfaction among staff as they are made to feel that their ideas are important. This will result in not only a stronger bond between the company and the staff but other reciprocal and multiplying benefits.1

Please stop and think: what is the situation in your work environment? Do you think that in your company there is such sentiment of participation and that ideas are taken into account? You might remember good and bad practice examples. What can you do in your position to improve the situation? You might wish to take note of consequences you have found out.

So far we have stated that the management of internal innovative proposals refers to a framework for promoting, conducting, using and stimulating innovative ideas within the organisation. We have also discussed why it is important to support the development of this framework in the company. The following diagram summarises these key ideas again: Fig. 1 Potentials of systematic management of internal proposals2


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