SMEs – Convergence and Divergence with Large OrganizationsOctober 26, 2015 . .
For most of my working life, I was employed by one of the world’s largest banks. Now I mainly work with SMEs. And I love it.
While I enjoyed my time working with such a large organization, it often felt that each department was just a cog in the great machinery and that although individually we could do well, we had no way of influencing the company as a whole entity. Also, sometimes, even though my team was working very hard, there was difficulty in fully understanding how our efforts were supporting the “big picture”.
When I’m asked why I love working with SMEs, it’s easy to explain; to be able to see the business as a whole entity means that one can take a holistic approach to every opportunity, every challenge and every decision. I find it easy to remain focused on the important issues of the company. Not getting distracted by bright, shiny objects but instead creating value, not just for the business owner but also very importantly – for their customers.
There is a lot of talk regarding avoiding reinventing the wheel – well someone has to invent it! Large organizations spend millions of dollars on reviewing every aspect of their business to try to get the best results possible. In terms of processes and operations, big businesses are often the “wheel inventors.” When we can take their learnings and make them relevant to smaller operations, it can make immediate improvements in customer care, employee engagement and company profitability.
Another area of difference between large companies and SMEs is in terms of strategy and implementation. In large companies one set of people will develop the strategy and another set of people will operationally implement it. I find it immensely rewarding that when working with smaller businesses there is the ongoing opportunity to analyse, evaluate and review the strategy in tandem with its operational implementation.
Why do these things matter to me? Again it’s simple, with a smaller team I can use the knowledge and skills which I learned in a global environment, to identify exploitable growth opportunities and make a real impact. The ability to make a tangible contribution each and every day means I happily jump out of bed each morning.
Ralph is a detail-oriented leader who gets things done. As a partner at Incrementa Consulting, he ensures there are no gaps in which execution can fail. You can connect with Ralph on Twitter or read more of his thoughts on the Incrementa website.