From February 2016 – April 2016, I followed the course “Entrepreneurial Innovation Management” at Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan.
First of all, I learned that there are many ways to manage a company. There are hundreds of models that try to explain the “ideal” way to manage a business. The truth is, almost all of them are true in some way. We discussed many models in class, but came to the conclusion that businesses consist of a few main aspects:
- Vision. Companies are very often led by visionary leaders that have a certain ambition or goal that they want to accomplish with their company. They set the guidelines for the company management, which can make a strategy based on that.
- Strategy. The company strategy is made on a management level by the CEO and other executives and sets the directions for the company in the long term. The executives should be in close interaction with both customers and employees, to ensure that what the company is doing complies to market demand.
- Mission. This translates the company strategy into goals for its employees. It also answers questions like “How are we going to match our goals with our strategy?” “At what point in time do we want to accomplish things?” “Where does it happen?”
- Operations. This is where it all happens. In operations, the company’s goals are turned into concrete actions that have to take place in order to reach the company’s strategy and ambitions.
- Tactics. When a product or service is ready for its market launch, the marketing department will try to find the right tactics to market the product to customers. This means that not only the product details should be very clear to them; a thorough market and competitor analysis has to be done in order to make sure the product meets the market demand.
At the heart of all of this is (positive) change. Everything is being done in order to transform a company and adapt it to market needs, wants and demands. All of the aforementioned aspects contribute to this change, as they are all interdependent. This means that when one of the aspects is lacking performance, the company can’t accomplish change optimally.
There is a reason that so many people have tried to make models of the way businesses work. It emphasizes that companies are complex environments in which many different disciplines have to work together.
Another important lesson I took from this course is about innovation. The way from a first concept to a market launch is very long; but, more importantly, there must be a real innovation in order to even start thinking of a possible market launch. Some ideas sound very good, but when looking for the business opportunity, it turns out that there is no real innovation in the product.
In the assignments we had to do regarding innovation, I learned that it is essential to look at the core problem that the idea tries to solve and its potential market. It turned out that some ideas were solutions to different root problems than the inventors originally thought of, and I learned to adapt those solutions to a different core problem.
Click here to view the certification.