What separates companies that innovate successfully from those that fail in their innovation efforts? Futurethink, an innovation research, tools and services firm, surveyed 248 executives to find out. The results are published in their white paper “Cracking the Code of Effective Innovation”
Key findings in the report:
1. The state of innovation in organizations today is in dire need of improvement. The average innovation score across all organizations was 8.3 out of a possible 20.
2. Organizations are taking the easy way out. They tend to focus on “ideas” and “climate” capabilities that are relatively easier to manage and control. They neglect “strategy” and “process” — the more difficult and complicated capabilities required to successfully make innovation work.
3. Organizational size plays a major role in the effectiveness of innovation. The smallest and largest organizations had the highest innovation scores. But mid-sized companies all fell below the average.
4. Two styles of innovation emerge. One is an informal approach with a focus on generating ideas typified by small organizations. The other is a more formal approach that relies on a robust process for innovation, typified by the largest organizations. The most effective way to innovate would be to blend these two approaches (easier said than done).
5. Surprising list of high and low performing sectors. Sectors that one would expect to be high-performers scored below the average. These include Computers, Electronics & Technology, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Healthcare. On the other hand, sectors that one traditionally thinks of as not innovative actually scored above the average. These include Education, Government, and Industrial Products.
The white paper delves into the details of these findings.