Owners and managers of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) are reluctant to hire consultants and even more so when it comes to innovation management consulting. And they often have good reasons to do so. They don’t see an appropriate value for the money and time they invest on innovation management consulting - especially since the quality and range of such services varies dramatically.
SMEs are perceived as the back-bone of most economies in Europe. Therefore, a lot of programs have been launched to support their growth. Over the past years, offering innovation support has become popular, complementing the well-known start-up financing and technology transfer programs. Despite the above, there is a level of dissatisfaction regarding the impact of these services.
Companies become increasingly restrictive in their consulting spending, especially during times of economic crisis, where the return on the investments on consulting services is questioned and carefully considered. Consulting in the area of innovation management is even more under pressure as it is usually much lower on the CEOs’ agenda than e.g. restructuring or general cost-cutting. Therefore, innovation management consultants face the challenge to develop their client base, be effective by providing the right recommendations and be efficient by developing these recommendations in as short a period of time as possible. Mastering such a challenge seems like searching for Columbus’ Egg in innovation management consulting.