Pep Viladomat – Expert Associate Partner of Leap program at Mckinsey
Innovation is the most effective strategy that companies need to follow to keep growing in a sustainable and inclusive way, says Pep Viladomat (Barcelona, 1981), who has been more than 20 years in the European startup ecosystem and participated in the first stages of The Collider – MWCapital Barcelona. He has founded some digital companies and now he is a member of the directive team of Leap program at McKinsey. Besides of being continuously innovating, companies must be resilient, that means that they have to be able to overcome through different obstacles and adapt to the new market reality. Constant innovation is what allows companies, big or small, to keep adapting to market’s changing reality.
Every organization find constantly new chances to grow, introduce in new markets depending on the moment and the sector, but these opportunities arrive in specific moments and they always have date of expiry, says McKinsey expert. Is not the same, for example, innovation that a fashion company needs to do that works in a very short cycles than the innovation that needs to do a telecom company with technological developments that need to be done through a whole decade. This cycles depend on mostly on the sector that the company is in or the sector that want to approach.
Studies made by McKinsey say that investment in innovation is the most profitable and the most important for a company. According to its estimations, 10% of the companies that invest the most, grow 2,6 times more than other organizations. Unfortunately, Spanish companies invest around 2,2% of its capacity in innovation when the world’s average is around 3,9%. That means that in Spain innovation investment is almost the half of the global average. But this low level also means that Spanish companies have a larger way to grow through innovation, Viladomat says.
Innovation sustainable, inclusive and agile
Innovation objective is to improve companies growth, but in a sustainable and inclusive way. For some years is mandatory to grow in a sustainable way through time, because otherwise will have a negative impact on the company, and also it must be done in an inclusive way letting no one behind. Identify new business is becoming more important to innovative companies, specially in the last decade. Follow this new business and the opportunities that they offer is a must for companies that want to keep growing. The markets change faster and no one can allow missing a business opportunity.
Each company, obviously, must search for innovation opportunities according to its size and sector. Big companies which have a lead position in a specific market segment have a lot of information and are able to detect new opportunities before small companies. But this big companies use to be less agile than the small ones, so these ones have a lot of opportunities too. The ideal, of course, is to be very fast when a new business opportunity is detected, affirms Viladomat.
Silicon Valley is usually mentioned as an example of a model where a lot of startups appear and where the new business opportunities are developed or die very fast. Also, the role of the big research centers of the United States has been widely studied in the last 50 or 70 years, where the government support is a key factor, specially in military technology after applied to civil use. In Europe, this technological transference from research centers to companies hasn’t had a huge impact, but Viladomat has the impression that we don’t have to push situations in excess. It is possible to incentivize and support doctorates who want to start in business, but there is the risk of turning bright minds with talent for science and technology in mediocre businessmen, the expert says.
Pep Viladomat highlights that innovation is essential in any company. It is for this reason that underlying technologies of the sector that the company wants to penetrate and be always aware of business opportunities. And most important, decide fast when its the right moment because other companies are doing the same.