The United Nations blow the whistle on the problem with Polish innovativeness

Polish companies do not have sufficient knowledge about investing possibilities.

Insufficient knowledge about investing possibilities and lack of trust between companies are main obstacles in the way of the innovativeness of Polish companies states Kamil Wyszkowski, Director of The United Nations Development Programme and Polish coordinator of Global Compact – the initiative of UN’s Secretary-General. Polish business saves money in banks, but it has no idea how to create research and development centres, where the best places to invest are – he adds.

Polish investments should see their chances in new, less popular business markets, such as Iraq, Myanmar (Burma), South Sudan or Somalia. Polish companies could locate their investments there, however, they don’t do it, because of low rate of our human resources and social capital in managing staff – explains Kamil Wyszkowski. It is about a lack of knowledge, also knowledge concerning social innovations, which are crucial for professional management of resources – either financial ones, or human resources that in fact are much more important – says the expert.

According to Kamil Wyszkowski, the problem is constituted by a low rate of trust between people , which results in companies’ unwillingness to cooperate and share their knowledge and consequently the retardation of their development. We have nearly 10,4 per cent of people who trust each other and are capable of cooperation. It is a dramatically low result. Just look at data from Germany, where 78 per cent of people are capable of cooperation. In Scandinavia, there are 82-83 per cent of them. United States is the leader with 88 per cent of people that want to do something together. It is a main problem of Poland – says Director of The United Nations Development Programme.

To improve innovativeness, economic subjects should start cooperating and create a mutual vision of actions. Relations between managers are particularly problematic, because they are afraid of being cheated. That is why we have so little various joint companies in Poland, which begin to act together as the part of consortiums on international markets – says Kamil Wyszkowski.

The expert is also not optimistic about Polish consulting companies. At most we have lone fighters, such as Jan Kulczyk, who tries to gain traction on international markets. He does it by himself, but it is the only example I know that take advantage of consulting companies’ know how – not Polish ones, because Polish consulting companies do not have sufficient knowledge about how to do this – he wins rising markets and does it in a superb way, either in Africa, or Middle East – comments  Kamil Wyszkowski.

Innovativeness is crucial for company’s development. Its neglect may result in losing clients or even a bankruptcy. Just look at Kodak, or Fuji: those companies are nearly over, they lost their chance, because they did not outlast digital cameras. Nobody in managing staff noticed that they will soon be removed from the market. They have their sense of security, felt like a huge corporation that is absolutely safe – and they lost their moment – notices Kamil Wyszkowski.

Currently, companies should be searching for niches and innovative solutions that will lower production costs or generate new product. I am very surprised that innovations are so unpopular in Poland and there are hardly any experts – says Wyszkowski, according to whom small and medium enterprises are the most innovative sector in Poland, because they know how to be flexible.  

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