Most companies agree that innovation is the key to the future, but few are making progress to innovate, according to the latest CB Insights report which surveyed 677 corporate strategy executives on the State of Innovation. Here are six other key insights from the report.
- It’s more of the status quo
Companies remain focused on small-scale, incremental innovation. 78% of innovation goals focus on enhancing existing products/services and cutting costs, instead of disruptive risks such as new product launches. Meanwhile, 41% of executives report that their companies are extremely or very likely at risk of disruption.
- Customers and employees drive innovation
The top sources of innovation are customers and employees, with competitive intelligence, suppliers/vendors, and academic partners finishing out the rest of the top five.
- It pays to innovate
Top performing companies were three times more likely to strive for first-mover advantage compared to low performers. Additionally, high-performing companies tend to invest more in disruptive innovation, indicating that it pays to take calculated risks in your industry – high-performing companies were 10.7 times more likely than low-performers to report very high levels of innovation in the last 12 months.
- Innovation requires a cultural change
The companies that succeed in innovation report having developed a culture of innovation that is felt across every area of their business, including HR, sales, product, marketing, and more. Having a space to discuss new ideas and present additional opportunities for growth is important for a company’s future.
- CEO ownership is important
The top-performing companies who lead in innovation share an important characteristic- the executive management is hands-on with their innovation strategy. CEO support can also push companies to embrace a culture of innovation needed to boost success.
- Most companies are measuring innovation
While many companies lack a formal process for innovation, 71% of companies in the report said they are measuring it. Among those who measure their efforts, 85% track revenue generated as one of their metrics for success. Another half look at the number of projects completed and customer satisfaction.
You can download the full report here.