Ewa Kopczynska is a associate and founder of E&D Information Consulting, a company specializing in information administration, innovation research, and innovation and know-how change. A world venture manager and researcher on innovation and entrepreneurship, he is from Poland, works in Portugal and principally he is courageous in every business! I assumed his trip to the innovation world terracotta can be an amazing story to share!
1) Hello Ewa, thanks for sharing your expertise with us! What triggered you from Poland to Portugal? Have you already considered creating a consulting follow in innovation management?
I am pleased to thank you for having.
The decision to go to Portugal was truly a bit unintentional … At 23, I used to be ending my Master's degree and dealing for Common Electrics. I was a superb chief on the street when certainly one of my private mentors advised me to make certain I choose an extended-term skilled path that is in step with my lengthy-term objectives and never dictated by social expectations. or local job opportunities. I already had 4 years of experience in numerous fields and positions, and thankfully it was affordable … and adventurous sufficient to pay attention to advice. Actually, I take a step back and provides myself the chance to discover my very own path as an alternative of following the dream path of a enterprise government who was, for generations, the Holly Grail. It was slightly bit of faith on my aspect.
So I inform my bosses that although I actually like my job, I’ll depart it to take a brand new diploma abroad. . I was all the time very desirous about Poland, and immigration by no means exceeded my thoughts, which was to be an journey, a chance to study in a brand new setting and to have the time and area to study more about myself and clarify what I actually need to obtain in my professional life.
The choice of Portugal was particularly decided by the truth that I had very limited information of the country and tradition. I used to be already accustomed to most European nations and was on the lookout for one thing new and unique. I used to be very excited that Portugal was so distant from my nation, Poland.
I actually didn't think about my very own firm again then … at the very least not consciously … and even much less, getting it to Portugal. However I was all the time enthusiastic about innovation and entrepreneurship, how they will help us do what we as soon as thought inconceivable, and how it can make a difference … and even more, how the shortage of transparency in innovation could be devastating. The history of Lodz, the town the place I lived, taught me quite a bit about that good instance.
2) What strikes you as Portugal's first innovation? What’s totally different there from other European nations you realize?
Portugal is filled with controversy. It’s a nation where a robust attachment to the normal mixes strongly with technical expertise and inventiveness. Nevertheless, the motivation for innovation is often not dictated by the will to be first, to be higher than others, to be revolutionary because of innovation, as in some cultures the place innovation is simply fashionable. The Portuguese love to take pleasure in life. Subsequently, revolutionary solutions are often the result of efforts to simplify duties, provide extremely consumer-friendly solutions that simply make life simpler and permit you to take pleasure in it extra.
I.e. Although I travel the world and see many new options for banking techniques, I still discover the Portuguese ATM system to allow you to handle most of your financing wants at the ATM degree. In Portugal, for years you need to use virtually any ATM to process invoices or pay taxes or shop on-line with no credit card, telephone billing or just using account numbers … .. This is only one example of innovation-in search of to make individuals's lives simpler, and it actually does. It is just shocking that the answer isn’t usually used across Europe …
… however it only highlights the country's common drawback. Advanced technical information exists, sadly administrative info isn’t enough to make efficient use of it.
Nevertheless, Portugal is basically altering. Once I moved there seven years ago, individuals turned more taken with entrepreneurship and innovation. You may also see an enormous change in culture. In reality, Portugal is more open to making an attempt new things. Sadly, there’s a common ignorance of what innovation actually is. Even in our enterprise setting, it’s typically vital to clarify that being an innovation advisor does not likely imply that we’re writing purposes for public R&D funding for our shoppers. Unfortunately, I came upon that nearly all corporations that publicize as innovation consultants achieve this in Portugal.
3) How did you start your corporation, who have been your first shoppers, and what are the following things that you’ve in thoughts on your E&D consulting follow in managing innovation?
I all the time knew I might start my own enterprise someday. Since childhood I have helped my mom in managing their own enterprise. Consequently, I knew the pros and cons of turning into an entrepreneur, was in a position to spot the entrepreneurial fashions around me, and knew what operating a business meant. I also saw at first hand how simply businesses fail. Already as a toddler, I had an example of an excellent failure in my household due to poor financial management, merely due to the shortage of cash movement monitoring. During every financial downturn, I found that numerous corporations in our surroundings fail due to lack of management expertise. So I knew that in order to succeed, you need to know not solely your clients' wants and how to meet them, but in addition how to maintain your numbers in place and that you simply primarily want multidisciplinary information … and extra – a ardour to make it easier to go when things look helpless. So I knew I had to get in before I started entrepreneurship. And that's what I gathered through the years from totally different instructional experiences, working throughout industries, organizations and finally nations.
Nevertheless, at a certain time limit, opening a enterprise was a reality. one other in the warmth of the moment & # 39; -decision. At the finish of 2016, I was annoyed with my work. I couldn’t stand brief-sighted considering, paperwork, lack of a clear technique and constant policy … So I’ll cease. I was just about to go to Poland for half a yr, when the farewell lunch discussion with my colleague Daniela causes for my departure, he simply stated:? "Remember when you joked that we should open our own business What do you think about it & # 39 ;. Since a few international partner is already asked me in the last few weeks why i'm not starting to do things alone, my answer was quick. There's one problem … i left in 2 days and while in poland we can explore some possibilities that can't wait if we are serious. Are we stubborn enough to do it in 2 days? "And of course we have been stubborn enough!
The primary customer, was an entire shock. We have been requested to devise an progressive technique to help inclusive sports activities for the Portuguese Winter Sports Federation. Skiing is considered one of my largest passions so I’m really helpful as an individual i who can incorporate information about tasks, innovation and keenness for winter sports.
Subsequent Steps… After the First Years Once we have been testing markets that have been simply within the early levels of understanding innovation management, we finally needed to focus more on innovation because we have been working on major leadership subjects prior to now. We’ll soon arrive when we’ve a enough product portfolio targeted purely on innovation and increased consciousness of our enterprise surroundings to achieve this. In addition, we’d like to grow to be a licensed training organization to meet the precise wants of our clients. We also began conversations with someone we see in our company as the chief in social innovation because we see nice wants and a scarcity of certified individuals within the area. Plans are all the time formidable, but as you recognize in an innovation surroundings, things can change very quickly, so we’re continuously adapting our plans to the market and the wants of our clients. Nevertheless, what we have now persistently is that we all the time concentrate on growing our inner expertise and discovering new challenges.
four) Why do you determine to keep?
Portugal? …. nicely, undoubtedly individuals … … they are typically troublesome to control, however I can't stress sufficient how great it feels to depart a spot individuals care about. Typically, although we attempt to work together, it doesn't cease us from being nice associates on the end of the day. In the first place, to me, being a human being and never knowledgeable category holder is simply invaluable to me.
<img class = "wp-image-100 183 aligncenter" src = "https://nbry.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/l08zbs8tme0zwnjtbs95ennotmhsynz3z2jhlzbatw5uannarjdql1rqn2pzcxp0enrka3i.jpg" alt = "L08zbS8tME0zWnJTbS95enNoTmhsYnZ3Z2JhLzBaTW5uanNaRjdqL1RqN2pzcXp03 and what’s the current plan their quest innovation and know-how?
The primary challenges relate primarily to the creation of the effective help setting and information needed to ensure innovation continuity, and the lack of know-how of innovation Firstly, Portugal created a large community of help buildings for entrepreneurship and innovation, however their effectiveness is restricted Organizations typically lack employees with little or no real information of the world and focus extra on administrative employees, in addition to business-college cooperation in innovation areas are actually uncommon. The Portuguese system of higher schooling, with publications on the heart of the professors' analysis, and the exclusivity clauses in the professorship contracts, which forestall them from gaining a arms-on market expertise, create a huge hole between enterprise and universities. The innovation potential has been lost. The fact that in a small country like Portugal there is a very giant variety of universities and numerous SMEs with no R&D capability, it really appears unreasonable.
Then again, like not only in Portugal, many people mix innovation with know-how. It’s troublesome to talk about innovation, for example within the agricultural sector, in the event that they solely see the excessive-tech business as an innovation label.
But some extremely progressive corporations are really scuffling with Portugal's lack of connection to overseas innovation. We had a case the place a company lost an enormous contract in Germany simply because they didn’t belief Portuguese innovation. In the long run, the runner up collection chosen by the Germans didn’t finally stay up to their expectations, they usually ultimately reconsidered. However it just exhibits that the shortage of a Portuguese innovation model is an issue.
What’s the plan? In follow, effective innovation measures in Portugal are fairly regional, then international.
There are some fantastic local examples of measures to help innovation on the native degree, but at current Portugal is just the start of the creation of regional innovation techniques. You’ll be able to see that totally different strategies are being tested and in the long run some songs start working, in some places quicker than in others.
Portugal's general power is in the area of data know-how. They’ve a very high degree in IT and numerous graduates. Together with very reasonably priced wages and actual property, it attracts overseas funding in the area. Fin Tech, particularly, turned very robust, making Lisbon and Porto slowly the IT places of many multinational corporations. Some even see great progress potential in Brexit as Portugal turned an affordable various to London-based mostly monetary providers.
There are also great examples. measures to improve Portugal's visibility on the world map of innovation and entrepreneurship. Among other issues, I consider that bringing WebSummit to Lisbon helped quite a bit here. Its impression is even wider. It really made the Portuguese passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. The media of the event may be compared to the World Cup … and in Portugal, as you possibly can imagine, this is big. I was very stunned on the significance of the occasion to the Portuguese group all through the country.
6) Are you able to give an example of E&D Consulting, which promotes cooperation at regional and worldwide degree in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and sensible improvement?  Positive … that's the easiest way for me to do what we do. In fact we do it in each session. Whether or not it's a micro-enterprise or a big public group, helping them enhance and grow, we help them succeed and their general innovation and improvement. However for me, it's not just about business. I consider that information and skill have a sure duty to exploit it, so we attempt to achieve this. Yearly, we attempt to develop at the very least one collaborative venture that would help resolve issues at regional and worldwide degree. It allows us to supply our experience to teams that do not often have entry to it. We began with the invitation of our Polish companion to be a part of in their efforts to build an answer to labor market expertise mismatches within the Interact venture beneath the Eramus + program. We designed the IN_DIGIT2EU venture to construct an e-learning answer for SMEs who want to internationalize however don't have the required information and expertise, or who just need to assessment what their SME needs to enhance their probabilities of success internationally…  This yr I lastly discovered write a challenge that supports educating the basics of innovation to a poorly educated adult to make innovation extra inclusive. I really hope to start it this fall.
As you possibly can see, we are working extensively on these tasks. It provides us the opportunity to work with groups which are typically outdoors our business. It not solely allows us to provide our experience, but in addition to study, trade info and share totally different visions. Then we will share it with our clients to help them improve and develop.
7) Why is it an asset innovation to mix totally different cultures like you? How do you profit from consulting tasks that you simply do internationally?
The adoption of different cultures makes one assume in a different way. Most individuals see actuality by way of the lens of a specific tradition through which they’ve grown up. They interpret events, behaviors, and generate concepts based mostly on some expertise and assumptions within the surroundings. If you move to a spot with a distant culture, or stay with individuals from totally different cultural backgrounds, you study that even primary assumptions or references that seem to have been "engraved on a stone" might be utterly incorrect outdoors your country. It actually helps you develop into more progressive, provides you a a lot wider perspective, and opens your eyes to new alternatives. However extra importantly, it helps you cope better with individuals.
In several nations, we now have a special approach of expressing ourselves, communicating, and dealing with our fears and difficulties. So most of all, multicultural experience helps you to contextualize and translate the messages that folks communicate. And it's not simply from a national perspective. Additionally between professions, industries, and even generations … Secondly, it also makes you more emphatic and illustrative, which is very important in management and particularly in consulting. Typically so as to understand problems or needs, you want to perceive even what individuals are saying, however what they don't want to say.
Third, it might offer you a greater incentive to interact individuals in innovation. Especially when coming from a tradition the place failure was not a suitable choice, I understand that folks can have a robust response to worry and sometimes conflict with their every day conduct. The cultural combine I obtained embedded in gave me much more endurance and profitability when individuals start behaving irrationally. It helps manage the crisis and helps individuals prepare and go through durations of high uncertainty, which is the every day bread on the planet of innovation.
And in a world challenge, it particularly helps you to deal with misunderstandings, conflicts or problems too significantly … it first helps you to ensure that this can be a really significant issue. Usually, when wanting at the common issues of transnational tasks, they’re typically the results of language difficulties, misinterpretations of statements or intentions, and comparable misunderstandings. So typically after individuals have repeatedly clarified what they imply, you will see that that they have been truly making an attempt to categorical comparable points of view…
The benefits of multicultural experience are really huge for my work, however I feel figuring out totally different cultures is very important to many elements of our lives regions. That's why I really like educating multicultural administration. I feel it's one of many "must have" expertise within the trendy world. However there isn’t any higher method to obtain this than by exposing your self and immersing yourself in an external tradition.
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Nicolas Bry is COO of Orange Startups Studio. He entices Orange staff to develop into self-employed and brings their ideas to life to the Orange business. A world leader, he units up innovation gear for brand spanking new business. International speaker, writer of RapidInnovation.fr, guest lecturer at Google Academy Microphone, visiting professor of innovation at Telecom ParisTech, MediaSchool & EM Lyon, EC freelance marketing consultant. Comply with her at @nicobry.