My good friend and colleague Maru Unt invited me to a special session at her school for entrepreneurs yesterday at Euromanagement Institute. It was a full day affair that launched the “Jupiter Academy” and it was very interesting.
The idea of this academy is rather simple. Small and medium sized businesses often get stuck in their routines. Their strategies tend to be oriented to produce incremental growth, rather than scaling up based on (1) a holistic view of opportunities, (2) building on core competences, and (3) partnering. This means that SME’s — even successful SME’s —- may be under performing. If they could take a step up, SME’s could achieve two really great goals. First, they could start spinning off new businesses, speeding up the innovation cycle (like Jupiter spinning off new moons). Second, they could develop a stronger innovation ecosystem. Oh … and did I mention that this would create a need for people who are ready to take risks. Like people who don’t have a job.
My hat is off to Marju for launching this experimental programme. It is a great approach to a very, very important issue.
FOLLOW - BTW, the big boys often get stuck in this incremental stuff too. Like Nokia. Here is a link to an interview of Nokia’s CEO Kallasvuo where he essentially admits that the company made a big booboo when it went for incremental growth.