Small and Mid-Sized Corporations and Reinvention

Is there any limit to corporation size? I have never worked for a meta-sized corporation and so I don't really know what it means and how it feels. So I have to imagine that. If you know better, please, correct me if I am wrong.

In a meta-sized corporation you are among hundreds of thousands of other employees. You have an extremely specified and narrow task. 80% of your work deals with internal customers and that also directs reinvention efforts. Most of the employees have heard that there are external customers but they have never seen or have contact with them.

In a meta-corporation leaders think that they have reached a stage where they have gone beyond markets. "We are the market! We are invincible because market laws do not apply to us." Business leadership becomes an issue of politics and simply organizing things.

Small and Mid-Sized Corporations

Small and mid-sized corporations live in a totally different world. 80% of their success is defined by how they can create value to external customers. Transparency towards customers is a must on all levels. Real customer emphasis means that you have to be closely involved in customer reinvention.

In such corporations you should never forget that business is one of the oldest and most spread social games and a key foundation for a sustainable society. You are always part of the markets. Unfortunately there is no such thing as invincibility in business. Defeat is your best friend on the road to excellence. The path to success is then paved with grit (in Finnish sisu).

Reinvention in Small and Mid-Sized Corporation

In a small or mid-sized corporation you cannot afford just having more and more new functions. You have to prioritize, and integrate. What kind of functional structure is optimal for a corporation is one of the key questions. It is not only a matter of efficiency, but how to prepare for continuous change.

If your corporation has not yet any "change functions", acquiring Reinvention capabilities is a good starting point. Reinvention is for everyone. It is the first step to disrupt and change in any corporate areas. Then you can later on add on more demanding functions like Innovation (and other venture functions) that typically demand intra- and entrepreneurship.

If your company already has an Innovation function you could consider integrating it with Reinvention (I've initially called it Invention+). Currently in many cases an innovation function has to cover too broad areas. Everyone who has worked in the innovation context knows that "This year we concentrate on incremental innovations and next year on radical innovations!" kind of thinking will lead to difficulties.

Reinvention has potential to take an even bigger role. Every corporation should aim for a good balance in changes. Reinvention could then act like quality function now does. Ensuring that there is not too little or too much but optimal corporate change. Corporations are social entities and human issues are crucial in reinvention.

To conclude, small and mid-sized corporations have an important role to play in a world that requires at the same time dynamic diversification, continuous renewal and international breadth in other words they need capabilities of true enterprises. There are themes that unite all corporations but reinvention activities in small and mid-sized corporation contexts have also very specific requirements.