What is futureSME?

futureSME is a new methodology available to Irish businesses since 2013. LEAP is the only licenced provider in Ireland. The futureSME methodology is delivered by LEAP in programmes approved by both Enterprise Ireland and ManagementWorks.

The futureSME business model, which was developed through extensive research and prototyping, is based on developing four capabilities within the organisation:

• Managerial CapabilityfutureSME
• Strategic Capability
• Operational Capability
• Adaptive Capability

Managerial capability involves building a culture of mutual respect, by nurturing and developing people, whilst empowering decision making and encouraging creativity and innovation. It is fundamentally based around the parallel development of the individual, teams and the organisation as a whole, focussing initially on developing organisation leadership. It is the foundation upon which strategic and operational capabilities are built.

Strategic capability helps to shape and fulfill a customer-focused guiding vision, supported by a clear operating model and a profit formula, balancing opportunistic short-term actions with proactive long-term behaviour. When deployed as a visual strategy, it provides all people within the organisation with a common set of goals.

Operational capability builds on strategic capability through aligning critical processes, resources and technologies to the overall guiding vision, and executes these processes effectively and efficiently.

Adaptive capability involves the ability to mobilise the managerial, strategic and operational capabilities through rapidly changing the organisation to adapt to and shape the emerging environment. It involves resilience in the face of threats, flexibility to take advantage of opportunities, an adaptable culture and continuous organisational learning. It is the ‘holy grail’ of the capabilities, and should be the ultimate goal of an organisation.


“The LEAP training was very beneficial to our executive team. It equipped participants with the tools to successfully create, develop and execute our organisation’s new strategy. It created an enthusiasm among staff and ensured they were fully invested in the strategic plan.”

Eamonn Siggins, Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland


A number of years ago, the owner of one of our client companies posed us a challenging question as follows:

“When I and my managers are working with the LEAP team, it is very productive and effective, we are all fired up with driving the necessary changes and adopting the right disciplines. However when LEAP depart and we are left to our own devices after 3 to 6 months things drift back to the way things were and the benefit of all this good work gets lost. If you could find a way to solve this problem and ensure we stick to the improved ways of working together, (without it costing anymore – without the need for LEAP), then count me in.”

In 2012 LEAP found the answer to the above challenge and it is – futureSME.

FutureSME was developed as the principal output of a major cross-European project involving 26 partners from Ireland, UK, Italy, Turkey, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Slovakia. It was led by the University of Strathclyde. With a budget of €8 million and supported by the EU Framework 7 programme, the project delivered a business model of the future for European SMEs. The futureSME transformation process was designed to provide a step-by-step approach to achieve the goals of this new business model.

How is the futureSME programme delivered?
futureSME is available through the ManagementWorks Management Team Programme which is exclusively delivered by LEAP.

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Contact Us
Tel: 091 755736
E: info@leapleadership.ie

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