Abstrakt

This book is motivated by our perception of the disparity between those who talk about the need for innovation, of which we are a part, and those who need or desire to become innovators.

This is particularly in focus when those who talk of innovation often do so with grand ex-amples of success in large, e.g. well-known American corporations that surprised everyone by taking over a market, or even creating an entirely new one in unexpected ways. Con-versely, those who listen to these stories, at least in Denmark where we reside, are often either small or micro-sized enterprises and have the problem of relating to the examples presented to them. They are not necessarily start-ups taking their first steps towards be-coming huge, international behemoths. They are simply small businesses started and run by ordinary people who sensed an opportunity to be their own boss, pursue their own ob-jectives and hopefully obtain some degree of freedom over their professional lives. They represent the educational and corporate diversity of their country and their main purpose is to be able to continue doing what they do, and from which they make a comfortable liv-ing. However, most companies in Denmark and the EU falls within this category. Thus, having a perspective on innovation, which includes these companies, is necessary in order to create an innovative society.

Much of the literature on innovation discusses and/or targets larger enterprises, with more resources and employees with many different sets of skills, and often involved in expand-ing their boundaries with new and exciting technologies. In that scenario it is not hard to understand why many of the smaller enterprises might feel that innovation is not for them.

We have personally encountered several innovation networks and been involved in semi-nars, workshops, conferences and educational initiatives, which share the same imperative; to promote innovation within, and across industry and educational boundaries. Many of the people we have encountered during our work do not seek world domination, or even necessarily want to become much larger businesses than they already are. The metal work-er who started his own company did so because he enjoys working with metal, and wants to have some freedom and control over the type of work he does, and when and where he does it. The physiotherapist, the marketing consultant, the plumber and the software de-signer are often the same, and while they may not have much in common, they are equally at a loss as to how the high-profile American examples might apply to them.

While most of the business owners and employees we have talked to certainly do realise that the ability to innovate and renew themselves is important to their long-term survival, only few have any idea as to how they can or should go about it.

Some have tried various things while others have no idea where to start and have, therefore done nothing. Common complaints include; how to know whether or not what they are doing is worth the effort, which types of activities to invest in, or the correct way to develop and test ideas they have been toying with. These are all good and relevant questions and there is no easy answer to any of them. In fact, we believe that the reason these questions are hard for many people to answer has more to do with the way we talk about and define innovation than to do with the difficulty of the actual tasks.

Good ideas do not come from a vacuum or by magic. They develop through a process; a process which is fraught with uncertainty. There are certainly no guarantees, but if we can at least aspire to understand this process from the perspective of a small business, we can also theorise as to how it can be managed in such a way as to recognise and address this uncertainty by a small business.

The purpose of this book is to present a perspective on innovation, and more importantly the process of innovation, which take into account the unique perspective of micro and small enterprises.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Antal sider100
StatusUnder udarbejdelse - 2018
Navne-bøger fra InDiMedia
ISSN2245-3180

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