It looks like that this week the Spanish Government is to approve the so called Law of Sustainable Economy in order to change the Spanish production model.
It seems however that the two main factors to achieve this goal have less to do with innovation and future-oriented economic sectors than with new ways of working in organizations (more collaborative and cross functional) and with leveraging the value of people (their responsibility and ability to improve). At least, these are the conclusions of a workshop hold in the Madrid Science Park on November 18th.
This workshop was attended by representatives of SMEs, companies like Oasis Hotel Group, entrepreneurs, representatives of the Central State, local governments and Universities, while a majority of the participants were SMEs with a will to change.
Among the more interesting findings we can describe the gap between the discourse on sustainable model, innovation and training versus the actual practice of business in Spain and the great difficulty in SME environments to implement the recommendations of the discourse.
As one participant said “it is more difficult to maintain a hairdresser shop than to manage an international finance department. What may be regarded as an exaggeration relates to the fact that large companies already have resources to cope with complexity, while local SMEs in traditional sectors (those who want change in Spain) do not manage complexity, but the uncertainty.
The workshop was designed to check if the speech production model change is applicable to real cases.
So when the participants defined the most important variables when adressing the change of their production model, they were asked to design plans to be implemented in real life by three micro SMEs among workshop attendees.
It was very interesting to note the great difficulty in translating the theoretical recommendations into concrete plans of. And they were by no means that theoretical! It should be noted that these recommendations do not emerge from a panel of academic experts, but from the comparison in the workshop of more than 10 reported cases of organizational transformation by their very protagonists: companies that have already reinvented themselves.
Especially important to me seemed comments from the public sector representatives, in the sense that they should be tied to the reality of SMEs if they want their policies to succeed, and that change means changing the dynamics within the real existing organizations.
Another significant finding was that the technology does not plays such pushing role as it used to be during the boom of new technologies It is rather the ability of people to use technology to build competitiveness what matters. As for innovation, what can be said about a word that works as a perch were each one hangs his own piece of clothe? The important aspect on innovation is not so much whether it is technological, organizational, commercial, etc.. as if it is able to put the organization on a more competitive position, building on the employee’s self-reliance and capacity to improve.
Finally, three organizations left the workshop with an action plan in their hands, that will be monitored and advised by ValueCreation to see if in practice it is possible to make the much desired change in the production model in traditional Spanish SMEs and organizations, as well as to identify and what are the key elements of this process.