As companies begin to refocus on growth, innovation has once again become a priority: in a recent McKinsey Global Survey,1 84 percent of executives say innovation is extremely or very important to their companies’ growth strategy. The results also show that the approach companies use to generate good ideas and turn them into products and services has changed little since before the crisis, and not because executives thought what they were doing worked perfectly.
Further, many of the challenges—finding the right talent, encouraging collaboration and risk taking, organizing the innovation process from beginning to end—are remarkably consistent. Indeed, surveys over the past few years suggest that the core barriers to successful innovation haven’t changed, and companies have made little progress in surmounting them.
So, we all agree that innovation is important and we recognize the challenges in becoming innovative. BUT, we continue to use same old management processes and hoping that we will get new results! Even more importantly, we continue to believe that we are good at innovation, but not really know why we are better than others…
Just over half of all respondents, 55 percent, say their companies are better than their peers at innovation, a figure that hasn’t budged since 2008. Another consistent pattern is that far fewer respondents say their companies are good at the specific processes and tactics frequently tied to successful innovation—such as generating breakthrough ideas, selecting the right ideas, prototyping, and developing business cases. Respondents say their companies are best at adapting once they’re in the market, with 58 percent claiming to be successful. As in the past, executives have the most difficulty stopping ideas at the right time, with only 26 percent of respondents to this survey saying they do this well.
The graph below says a lot:
Only 39 percent of respondents say their companies are good at commercializing new products or services. This overall assessment seems to have a few different sources (Exhibit 4). Commercialization was a serious concern in 2007 as well; in that year’s survey, nearly a third of senior leaders selected making handoffs from ideas to commercialization as one of their biggest challenges, and 43 percent said the top challenges included choosing which ideas to move forward.
Much more good info in the article…