Technology Can Be Bought, Innovation Must Be Watered To Grow

       Written by Claudio Vivante

Every day I meet entrepreneurs who want to be informed on the Industry 4.0 and on innovation that can lead the company to become more competitive. Few of them have clear ideas, many are confused about the choices to make and doubtful about how these innovations can be transferred to the company. The main concern, as I understand, is on the so much declaimed benefits of Industry 4.0 applied to their own reality.

Surely they understand the tax benefit and, unfortunately, they just stop there. I am sorry to write it, but I see that strategic capabilities are missing: the company's vision in 5 or 10 years. The world is changing so fast that not only production processes, but also technologies and products become obsolete in a few years and the once flourishing markets suddenly become poor.

Think about electric cars: I remember that when I bought the car in 2005, BMW Hydrogen prototype circulated and they were announced for 2015. We do not talk about hydrogen cars anymore. Now there are electric cars and you can well imagine that, in a few years, their market will become so important and change the entire automotive sector.

The aftermarket, the workshops, all the services oriented to users: how many changes on the horizon. Are interested parties preparing? Do you think entrepreneurs have understood that innovation is an endless process? That innovation must be an integral part of companies from the top until every last worker?

 

"Making innovation must be an integral part
of companies from the top until every last worker."

Click to tweet

 

I believe in fact that with no innovation culture, machines bought with the hyper-depreciation will not be enough. No training, no awareness of enterprise employees to the new, which should not be perceived as a nuisance in most of the daily routine, but as an opportunity to do better.

Sure, sometimes innovation does not bring the expected benefits, but it is OK: only he who does not try commits no mistake. In the seminars in which I participate, I always tell entrepreneurs that they should carry the desire to innovate their companies even before buying the technology. Many entrepreneurs respond that their workers are an obstacle to change. Well sure, if you have never done training for twenty years and have them accustomed to always do the same job every single day, it seems natural that their response before the change is not of joy but of concern.

 

"Fortunately, the answer to the entrepreneurs of this
Country exists and is there for all to see: young people."

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Fortunately, the answer to the entrepreneurs of this country exists and is there for all to see: young people. There are so many young men and women, undeservedly unemployed, just waiting for an opportunity: someone who puts them to the test and give them the opportunity to show how good they are. Young people who have studied and must be appreciated. Unfortunately, these young people are often exploited by poorly paid internships. Or, and I think it's worse, the companies flank "veterans" to young people to "teach" how to work in the company.

In this way, young people learn to work as they did 20 years ago and we lose enthusiasm for innovation. I do not recommend to throw all the experience of the wisest, but to mediate between what's right to know to avoid the mistakes of the past and try to look at the work from a new perspective.

Young people should be left free to express themselves and it is in this that entrepreneurs must prove they are enlightened: by giving confidence. Confidence, such a beautiful word. Can you have confidence in young people, let them try, and if it happens, let them be wrong? Entrepreneurs have forgotten their mistakes as young and today do not seem to forgive nothing to the younger generations.
If, and it is my wish, companies that want to innovate will accept the challenge to take these extraordinary children and have the patience to listen to their ideas, to encourage their initiatives, innovation will come naturally into the rooms of companies, from the last of the production halls up to the administrative offices. I know, it seems like a dream, but we cannot stop believing.

 


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