Incubator leadership

download Incubator leadership

of 32

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Incubator leadership

  • 1.Incubator Leadershipand ManagementBy Sheila Oliveira PiresManager Incubator at CDT University of BrasliaBraslia - BrazilSeptember 2003

2. iDISC 2003Applications for permission to reproduce or translate allor part of this work should be made to:infoDev Incubator Support Center (iDISC)SCN Qd.4 Bloco "B"Ed. Centro Empresarial VarigSala 1302, Braslia/DF - BrazilZip Code: 70710-926Tel./Fax: +55 (61)328-0779URL: http://www.idisc.netEmail: 3. SUMMARYAware of the determinant role human capital one of the core elements in incubation management- plays inany successful organization or enterprise, Ms. Pires overlays this core concept also on business incubationindustry, indicating characteristics, profiles, responsibilities and composition of the incubator staff, as wellas their relations with stakeholders, mentors and consultant networks. Throughout this work, the authordescribes the above issues and embellishes them with rich examples from business incubators around theworld.Overviewing incubator team profiles worldwide, Ms. Pires brought up critical factors related to training andmanaging incubator staff, such as the importance of work team and the needed care in selecting andretaining personnel.In her final remarks, the author calls the readers attention to the fact that despite the relevance of theintellectual capital to a business incubator, this subject is lacking in more comparative and in-depth studiesand references that discuss this issue in details. 4. This page was intentionally left blank 5. Incubator Leadership and Management1. INTRODUCTIONThe success of any organization, whether it is a nonprofit or profit seeking enterprise, depends on its humanpotential. Notwithstanding all the technology available today for business management purposes, people arethe determinant factor underlying every process since, on the basis of their personal inferences; they are thefactors that determine success or failure. Without a first line team, a companys plans will rarely be broughtto fruition (Dornelas)1 . Precisely the same principle applies to business incubators. The teams charged withmanagement and operations are fundamental to success.According to Wolfe 2 , the success of any new venture is contingent on many outside factors includingmarket forces, technological advances and capitalization. The strength, tenacity and adaptability of theventures internal leadership and organizational framework and their ability to execute are the criticaldeterminants of success, nevertheless.Many studies on the best incubator practices identify the enormous importance of effective management asa key factor in the performance and feasibility of the incubator 3 . In its study on the profile of incubators inAustralia, the Price Waterhouse & Coopers studies states that a major characteristic of the Australianincubator model is effective management: the role of the incubator management is crucial in ensuringcontinuing local support and sponsorship, attracting and evaluating prospective tenants and facilitating thesmooth transition of leaving tenants (successful graduates and others)4 .In general, incubators have very small staffs. Evidently, this fact alone increases the responsibility of thosein charge, whether they are directors or managers. In most of the existent bibliography on the subject, thelatter are described as individuals with such skills and profiles that they seem somewhat similar tosuperheroes people gifted with extraordinary capacity to overcome all adversities and obstacles.Just as in the case of managers, the Executive Council or Board of Directors and the President or theDirector of the incubator plays significant roles in the performance of the undertaking. These are the peoplewho provide guidance, monitoring, evaluation and interventions, together with a steady flow of suggestionsto companies in the incubator stage and, in final analysis, who makes it possible to transform ideas intosuccessful businesses.Consequently, this paper describes the role of people in the managerial process of incubators, indicating thecharacteristics, profiles, responsibilities and composition of the staff, as well as their relations withstakeholders, mentors and consultant networks.1 DORNELAS, Jos Carlos Assis. Planejando incubadoras de empresas: como desenvolver um plano de negcios paraincubadoras (Planning business incubators: how to develop a business plan for incubators). Editora Campus, 2001.2 WOLFE, Chuck et alii. Best Practices in Business Incubation, 2000. NBIA.3 PriceWaterhouseCoopers. National Review ofSmallBusinessIncubator.Final Report. 1999 IBID 1 6. Incubator Leadership and Management2. THE INCUBATOR AND ITS MANAGERIAL STRUCTUREAccording to Rice and Matthews 5 , the tasks involved in operating an incubator can be divided into two basiccategories: activities related to the operation of the incubator as a business and activities focused onfostering the growth of incubated companies. Duff 6 , on the other hand, understands that incubators aresubject to two conflicting questions: one that is operational and the other that is political in nature. Theoperational issue is the polarized forces between real estate and enterprise development. () The policyissue evident in many programs is between job creation and enterprise development.In order to reconcile these questions, Duff 7 surveyed the best practices found in Australian incubators andcame up with a model in which the president focuses primarily on aiding companies as much as possible,while the incubator staff and volunteers have the task of performing the business functions connected tooperation of the incubator in general.According to Rice and Matthews 8 , the incubator teams functions can be divided into what can be executedby a secretary or receptionist, those that come under the responsibility of a business manager and those thatrequire the attention of the president or director of the incubator.The characteristics of the management and operational team will be presented under this topic, showing thegeneral model adopted in the organizational structures of these programs, as well as the profiles, skills andresponsibilities of the staff professionals.2.1. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MANAGERIAL STRUCTUREThe incubator must always be understood as a business and, as such, must seek to work with a lean andcompetent managerial structure (Pereira and Pereira)9 .The managerial structure of an incubator is normally composed of three levels of management: board ofdirectors, incubator management and consultant committee (Medeiros et alii)10 . The number of companiesaided by the incubator generally defines staff size. What is important is that the administrative structuremust be lean, light and agile.The position taken by Shmuel Yerushalmi11 , General Manager of Itek Incubator for TechnologicalEntrepreneurship Kiryat Weizmann Ltd., in Israel the day-to-day operations are conducted by a small team,comprising the CEO/General Manager, one Executive Secretary and a Business Development Manager, hiredas an external part time consultant. Services as bookkeeping, accounting and legal attorneys are contractedon as-needed basis.5 RICE, Mark P. and Matthews, Jana B. Growing New Ventures, Creating Jobs. Quorum Books, 1995.6 DUFF, Andrew. Best Practices in Business Incubator Management. IBID8 RICE and MATTHEWS, p. 829 PEREIRA, Edson and PEREIRA Tnia, Planejamento e Implantao de Incubadoras de Empresas (Planning and Implementation ofBusiness Incubators), ANPROTEC & SEBRAE, 2001.10 MEDEIROS, Jos Adelino et alli. Plos, Parques e Incubadoras a busca da modernizao e competitividade (Centers, Parksand Competivity the pursuit of modernization and competitiveness). CNPq, 1992.11 YERUSHALMI, Shmuel. Ten years of experience Itek Incubator for Technological Entrepreneurship Kiryat Weizmann Ltd. Israel, article. WCBI. Anprotec, 2001.2 7. Incubator Leadership and Management2.2. COMPOSITION AND TASKS OF THE MANAGEMENT TEAM AND BOARD OF DIRECTORSBased on the bibliographies consulted, the general model for the managerial structure of incubators consistsof an Executive Council or Board of Directors, a President or Director, a Manager and a Secretary orReceptionist. In the United States, Australia and Europe, it is common to find the figures of mentors andconsultants as part of the incubator management team.In Israel, according to Yerushalmi12 at Itek, an Executive Committee, a Research and DevelopmentCommittee, an Auditing Committee and two Scientific Advisory Boards complement the management systemof the incubator.Dornelas 13 further suggests a press advisor and an information manager for the staff of incubatorcollaborators.According to Greco14, the management structure of traditional technology incubator facilities consists of anincubator manager (more commonly known as the incubators executive director), boards of directors andspecial selection committees which play key roles in recommending, reviewing and approving companies forinclusion in the incubator facility.The number of people on the managerial staff is defined on the basis of the quantity of companies assisted.In the case of a ten-company incubator, Medeiros et alii (1982) suggest a staff of three people: manager,secretary and administrative assistant. Staff will only be enlarged if the enterprise expands and/or clearlydefined needs arise (Pereira and Pereira, 2002).In the study prepared by the European Commission 15, staffing in France was identified as follows: theincubator has five full time employees of whom two are managerial level and the remainder secretarial andadministrative support. Key partners include the local mayor, the local and regional councils, the Centre forNuclear Research (CRE) and representatives from the private sector.In its analysis of the Swedish model, the same stud