Growing the Nigerian facilities management industry depends on a number of factors. Apart from having a supportive business environment driven by good government’s policies and programmes, constant innovation is key to the rapid growth of the industry. This can be in forms of radical and incremental innovation typologies. In the last few years of researching and analysing the industry, our analyst has learnt that a significant number of brands are innovating in the context of new processes creation and deployment towards sustainable value delivery. They have also developed new products or solutions towards total elimination of frictions being experienced by the users of FM solutions across the private and public sectors.
In spite of this movement, more works are needed if the players truly want to capture the needed value from their solutions and exploring new opportunities in Nigeria. This piece is a part of the ongoing solution innovation research in the industry. Our analysis shows wide disparity between lower-level employees’ and upper-level employees’ commitment towards innovation despite the presence of the needed organisational factors such as effective communication of ideas and thoughts, reward and recognition system, collaboration and supportive climate for new idea generation and management.
From a three-month study of some employees in the industry, our analysis reveals that employees have a better understanding of what innovation entails. They have adequate knowledge of how relationship analysis with clients matters in the context of creating unique solutions. From the minimum to the maximum prediction topologies, our analysis establishes surprising insights. When the factors [earlier listed] were analysed along with the extent to which innovation processes permeate in the employees’ organisations, we found 59.76% and 47.62% as the maximum and minimum predictions respectively. The identified factors could only be explained from innovation strategies by 61.0% [maximum prediction] and 44.9% [minimum prediction]. It was 69.75% [maximum prediction] and 41.11% [minimum prediction] when the factors were analysed along with the innovation outcomes such as working closely with clients in exploring and developing new concepts.
Exhibit 1: Organisational Factors Driven Innovation and Outcomes Framework
Emerging Issues and Needs
These results indicate that players need to embrace disruptive business and innovation models. These are essential towards a proper understanding of what the users need and perfect exploration of market dynamics and systems. Modification of current organisational capabilities is desirable. When it is clear that the modification would make little contribution to expected outcomes, creating or sourcing new capabilities should be the next option.
These propositions are in line with the outcomes of our analysis. For instance, it emerged that employees at the top management level and owners of the two companies need to share innovation vision and commitment with the employees at the business and functional levels. This is imperative considering the fact that a number of employees might have ideas that could be transformed into sustainable solutions. When ideas are suggested to the top management executives and turned down, there is a possibility of killing in-built innovative thinking in the employees who proposed the ideas. This can also have adverse effects on other employees. For instance, they might not be willing to share ideas in the future.
Continuous transformation of processes and innovation framework is highly imperative. This is necessitated with the low severity of innovation transformation components [see Exhibit 2]. Top level managers and owners need to ensure constant skilling, reskilling and upskilling of employees towards effective innovation. Employees should always be ready to embrace change, especially those needed for effective process optimization and sustainable value co-creation and delivery to the targeted clients.
For the veracity of our propositions, we used Alpha Mead Facilities, one of the key players in the industry as the basis of understanding the key constructs in the propositions. Other players could follow the path of the company in the areas of design and new product/service development, knowledge management, idea creation and creativity climate. In our analysis, these areas consistently have above 8 points out of the expected 10 points when they were analysed along with sufficient flexibility in system for product development, top management commitment and support towards innovation, idea creation and creativity, top management shared vision of innovation and supportive climate for new ideas respectively [see Exhibit 3].
Exhibit 2: Innovation Transformation Components
Exhibit 3: Innovation Transformation Rethinking Components