Title Strengthening business performance management in economic networks
Project Number 2011-1-PL1-LEO05-19900
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
With this project, it was expected to implement vast collaboration and engagement of the organizations and communities in its activities.
As far as managers and network facilitators are concerned, they were supposed to increase their managing skills, efficiency in managing the company, communicative and language skills. It was also expected that through the interchange of experiences, information, of the conception of varied methods and strategies as well as the experimentation and application,it will motivate them to use innovative and creative management practices. The most important were the connection between enterprises in Poland, Lithuania and UK. The collaboration has brought improvement in business performance of the networks.
Economic networks, like cluster or cluster initiatives play crucial role in economic reality (The initial observations of the European Cluster Observatory). It can be assumed that roughly 38% of all European employees work in enterprises that are part of the cluster sector [Innovation Clusters in Europe…, EC, 2007]. Next observations suggest a positive correlation between the strength of regional portfolios (human resources, patent applications, employment in medium - and high-tech manufacturing) and regional innovation performance. The existing economic networks in Poland and Lithuania have several problems with performance management as well as business animation. They have to be equipped with tools and analytical process that enable to achieve preselected goals.
The objectives of the project were:
• To assess the actual competence of the selected trainers in business performance management
• To train 20 trainers on managing and animation the business networks
• To develop 20 Plans of business performance management
• To develop 1 managerial "tool kit"
• To amend the 20 Plans according to the feedback after the pilot testing implementation phase
• To develop the textbook and an article on business performance management in European networks
• Disseminate results of the project in 2 international conferences.
Target groups of the project were: direct - managers and facilitators dealing with business performance management in economic networks. Indirect target group were entrepreneurs.
The beneficiaries were: enterprises, companies, trainers, educators, managers, society.
Partners by their professional experience represented: Navigator Consulting Partners, UK – field strategic management consulting, as well as representative of the enterprises for contributing to the development and piloting Plans, Human Capital Research and Development Institute involved in development and implementation of different training programmes for adults for their professional development, Wielkopolska Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts for bridging consultants and business in Poland and Lithuania. Partners have professional trainer training, management education, as well as dissemination experience and are proficient in project management. The project results are: 20 trained trainers, 20 Plans and "1 tool kit" of performance management and business animation, textbook on management in European networks, one article, as well as 2 international conferences. The project duration was 24 month.
According the initial European Cluster Observatory, economic networks, like cluster or cluster initiatives play crucial role in economic reality. It can be assumed that roughly 38% of all European employees work in enterprises that are part of the cluster sector [Innovation Clusters in Europe…, EC, 2007]. Next observations suggest a positive correlation between the strength of regional portfolios (human resources, patent applications, employment in medium - and high-tech manufacturing) and regional innovation performance. The development of economic networks like clusters and cluster initiatives, is seen as one of the most important drivers for spurring innovation and competitiveness among companies. But as a network develops over time, so does the role of the facilitator. Therefore, the skills and competencies needed to work as a strategic change agent increase as a network grows and matures. The existing economic networks in Poland and Lithuania have several problems with performance management as well as business animation. They have to be equipped with tools and analytical process that enable to achieve preselected goals.
Europe needs to better mobilize the innovative potential of its companies, especially its SMEs. At its core, the European Cluster Excellence Initiative provides the access to a European Cluster Collaboration Platform (launched in September 2010) rich in information and services that enables better and more targeted interaction between cluster organizations and their members. The objective was to improve their performance and increase their competitiveness through stimulation of European and international cluster collaboration required. This project was oriented on the same goals. Networking is more and more important, but as always, the crucial role to play is business facilitator in the specific network. These business facilitators need a training.
Overall aim of the project was to transfer innovative methods of business performance management and business animation in economic networks as well as contribute to social and economic cohesion.
Specific aim was to increase managerial skills of managers and facilitators in clusters and clusters initiatives in Poland and Lithuania through delivering them special training and equipping them with required analytical tools.
Project shall have helped managers and business facilitators in the economic networks acquire skills that increase their efficiency, improve performance management and enable achieving better economic and social cohesion.
The nature of the projects results was very innovative. First step, was an assessment of the network managers needs. The survey has deliver description of the following issues:
- Characteristics of clusters and cluster initiative in Poland and Lithuania,
- Characteristics of the networks manager,
- Tasks of the networks manager,
- Required areas of competence,
- Interests in training/skills development
- Training measures and methods,
- Preferences and conditions regarding training measures and methods.
On the basis of the survey results, the specific training was prepared. Experts from Navigator have transferred innovative management techniques and methods used in United Kingdom. The training was divided into 5 modules and included elements, like: strategy building, fiance management, n-line marketing, members services and internationalisation.
Every network manager had to prepare his own Plan how to increase business performance of the given network, economic and social capacity, how to attract more companies to the network, how to improve level of collaboration etc.
The whole training was based on experiential, interactive training methods - action based learning, cases, etc.
The managerial tool kit was also delivered, composed of commonly used management techniques, adjusted to the perspective of the Central East European Countries.
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
R.1. Results of competencies analysis in business performance management in economic networks in Poland and in Lithuania
R.2. Business Performance Management Plan for economic networks
R.3. Managerial tool kit for managers of economic networks
R.4. Report - assessment of the quality of developed products
R.5.Revised Business Performance Management Plan for economic networks
R.6. Revised Managerial tool kit for managers of economic networks
R.7. Textbook on business performance management in economic networks in Poland and in Lithuania
R.8. Article in International Journal