Please see below selected recent innovation-related change.
- Azeem Azhar asked how we should we manage innovation. In a field like medicine, we’ve established a rigorous and scientifically-validated approach to testing and approving drugs, based on clinical trials and randomised controlled tests. In the finance and insurance industries, new entrants must comply with strict rules that protect the consumer. Capital adequacy and anti-money laundering requirements ensure the integrity of the financial system, supposedly. However, the tech industry has had no such framework. It has enjoyed "permissionless innovation" since the advent of the Internet fifty years ago. The open platform enabled entrepreneurs to try new things without getting permission from regulators or, indeed, anyone else.
- Surveys often show that managers tend to consider compliance restrictions and a lack of resources as the main obstacles to innovation. This common wisdom suggests eradicating all constraints: by getting rid of rules and boundaries, creativity, and innovative thinking will thrive. Harvard Business Review research, however, challenged this wisdom and suggested that managers can innovate better by embracing constraints. HBR reviewed 145 empirical studies on the effects of constraints on creativity and innovation, and found that individuals, teams, and organisations alike benefit from a healthy dose of constraints. It is only when the constraints become too high that they stifle creativity and innovation.
- The Innovation 360 Group consulting firm analysed more than 1,000 companies in more than 60 countries to build an extensive database on innovation. They examined their respondents’ insights on how and why innovation projects prosper or fail. They found that executives can now choose from a variety of tools to measure and manage innovation. Organisations must take a holistic approach to change as they interpret what they’ve been through, their present situation and their likely future scenarios, and the implementation of “innovation analytics” can turn ephemeral information into concrete data.
- From the dawn of computer programming to stem cell research, women have been behind some of the most groundbreaking inventions. While their share of total patentees remains low, the status quo is shifting in many high-tech industries such as biotechnology and chemistry. A Raconteur infographic charted some of the most pioneering female inventors over recent history, and which sectors and countries are leading the charge in representation.
- Raconteur argued that there is more than one way to innovate and organisations of different ages and sizes will have different reasons for embarking on a process of business innovation. For some it may be a case of re-assessing the ways in which the business generates revenue, for others it may be necessary to move into a different industry altogether - or even to create a brand new one! Before embarking on any innovation cycle, it is important that organisations understand the various different business innovation models available to them.
- Reports indicate that the global corporate profit pool, which currently stands at almost 10% of world GDP, could shrink to less than 8% by 2025. A big part of the growth problem is most corporate innovation initiatives, siloed in R&D divisions and idea labs or corporate accelerators, never reach customers. These initiatives are very good at generating ideas but weak in commercialisation. Gallup believes that companies are too focused on cultivating innovators within their businesses and not enough on developing those people who can commercialise innovative ideas.
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- X is a diverse group of inventors and entrepreneurs who claim to build and launch technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions, of people.
- The fourth edition of the Quartz Africa Innovators identified some of the most ambitious and imaginative minds on the continent. The 30 movers and thinkers on the list range across fields from the arts and science to technology and entrepreneurship and beyond.
- Further reading:
- Business innovation is when an organisation introduces new processes, services, or products to affect positive change in their business. This can include improving existing methods or practices, or starting from scratch. For Raconteur, the experience of innovation will vary greatly from company to company, but there are some common pitfalls which can, and should, be avoided.
- The Global Innovation Index 2018 focused on the theme of ‘Energising the World with Innovation’. Energy demand is reaching unprecedented levels as a result of a growing world population, rapid urbanisation, and industrialisation. Higher levels of technological and non-technological innovation are required to meet this demand, both on the production side of the energy equation (alternative sources, smart grids, and new advanced energy storage technologies) and on the consumption side (smart cities, homes, and buildings; energy-efficient industries; and transport and future mobility). Innovation plays key roles in addressing both sides of that equation.
- GDPR will kill the innovation economy, warned Quartz, arguing that users are more keen to accept new privacy agreements from behemoths like Facebook than smaller companies, which could force more humble startups into extinction.
- Policymakers, non-government organisations, charities and entrepreneurs across the world are showing increasing interest in “social innovation” as a means of addressing various problems, from poverty and homelessness to environmental degradation. But what does the term actually mean, asked The Economist Intelligence Unit?
- As the concept of social innovation has gained currency, more efforts have been made to bring rigour to the field by defining the term more clearly and analysing best practices in its application. So far there have been few attempts to examine how countries can encourage and enable social innovation. That is the aim of an index and white paper, commissioned by The Nippon Foundation.
- The pace of innovation among global corporations, universities, government agencies and research institutions has reached record levels, according to Thomson Reuters' new report: '2016 State of Innovation Report: Disruptive Game-Changing Innovation'.This year's study finds a double-digit year-over-year surge in innovation growth, led by significant increases in the Medical Devices, Home Appliances, Aerospace and Defense, Information Technology, and the Oil & Gas sectors. The study also tracks global scientific literature and scholarly research that typically precedes discovery and the protection of innovation rights. Total scientific literature production, in contrast to overall patent volume, has posted a year-over-year decline, suggesting a potential slowdown in future innovation growth.
- 'Why Europe lags on innovation' argued that the problem is not regulation; it’s Europe’s obsession with risk. Europe has driven global innovation for centuries. Modern science, enlightenment, the industrial revolution: This quest for knowledge, evidence, and new solutions has always been the basis of European prosperity. Today we ought to remember this legacy. Europe’s economy can only continue to compete globally if we invest in more innovation.
- The fact that we have always hungered for innovation is evident from the history of human kind. This hunger for progress also explains why innovation is the driving force behind economic growth. As innovation transforms the way we live, work and do business, what can we learn from organisations that are harnessing its power most effectively? PwC has just launched its Spotlight on Innovation which curates the best of PwC's insights in this space.
- Countries around the world are trying to emulate Silicon Valley’s success by trying to construct similar frameworks in the hope of building the next Google, according to INSEAD. There are three key policy elements that can mean the difference between success and failure. First, policies matter. From tax incentives to regulations and from grants to funding, the role of policies is crucial. Secondly, innovators need political stability, streamlined tax structures, inter-agency cooperation, supportive research institutions and fluid links between public researchers and private companies. Thirdly, risks need to be made attractive. Entrepreneurs and innovators need clear legal frameworks, clear fiscal frameworks and clear business frameworks to mitigate risk and investment confidently.
- Amsterdam won the European Commission’s title European Capital of Innovation 2016, ahead of Turin and Paris. Honourable mentions went to Berlin, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Milan, Oxford and Vienna. No central or eastern European cities made the shortlist.
- Infosys Limited unleashed a grassroots effort to ensure that the best innovative ideas emerge at the points where its employees interact with their clients. The programme is appropriately titled 'Zero Distance'.
- Investing in digital innovation, requires companies to confront significant risk and uncertainty, as well as make difficult choices and uncomfortable changes, found ALM Intelligence. Moreover, for most companies and their leaders, particularly those in traditional industries, exploring digital innovation means venturing into unfamiliar territory where old rules often do not apply. This is generating demand for expertise in digital innovation – from strategic advice to tactical assistance – that is being met by a wide range of digital consulting providers, from traditional strategy consultancies and large multi-service firms to small boutique firms and digital agencies focused on innovation strategy or creative design.
- The author of 'The Network Effect' argued that innovation is not necessarily born out of individual genius or the well-worn cliché of ‘blue-sky thinking’, but rather by the role of networks in driving new ideas and bringing established insights into new disciplines. This build on earlier work by the University of Chicago, which demonstrated that individuals who build diverse networks, so that they themselves become bridges (or brokers) between different social or professional groups, are at greater ‘risk of having a good idea’.
- Capgemini has opened a global network of nine innovation spaces, known as Applied Innovation Exchanges, where organisations are able to immerse themselves in the understanding, experimentation and application of all aspects of emerging tech. Working at these incubator-like exchanges, companies also will figure out new approaches to the business disruptions confronting them and their industries, Capgemini said. The newest exchange office opened in San Francisco in February 2016.
- Fast Company released its annual list of the "World's" Most Innovative Companies. The top 10 were in fact very US dominated: 1. BuzzFeed; 2. Facebook; 3. CVS Health; 4. Uber; 5. Netflix; 6. Amazon.com; 7. Apple; 8. Alphabet; 9. Black Lives Matter and 10. Taco Bell.
- In 'The eight essentials of innovation', McKinsey argued that strategic and organisational factors are what separate successful big-company innovators from the rest of the field. It’s no secret: innovation is difficult for well-established companies. By and large, they are better executors than innovators, and most succeed less through game-changing creativity than by optimising their existing businesses.
- The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation assessed 56 countries - which together account for about 90% of the global economy - on the extent to which their economic and trade policies contribute to and detract from global innovation. The report found that on a per capita basis, the nations doing the most for global innovation (a combination of more effort on policies that support innovation and less on policies that harm it) are Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In contrast, India, Indonesia and Argentina score the lowest overall. Singapore, Korea and Finland rank highest on how much their policies contribute to global innovation. In contrast, India, China, and Thailand have put in place policies that have done the most to harm global innovation.
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution is study in contrasts, according to the GE Global Innovation Barometer. Optimism about the power of innovation to address some of society’s greatest challenges, mixed with fear of “Digital Darwinism” and becoming obsolete. A growing recognition of collaboration as a competitive advantage, combined with the empowerment of individuals who have access to an increasing array of digital tools. For a glimpse of how these trends are shaping the future of work and the global competitive landscape, GE asked several thought leaders to share their outlook on the digital revolution - and animators to bring those visions to life.
- When companies base their internal performance measurement systems solely on short-term profits or traditional accounting returns, the results can be dangerously skewed, warned The Huffington Post, causing premature or inappropriate decisions about the fate of new innovations and research and development (R&D) funding. Indeed, a patent attorney specialising in high technology companies believes current accounting rules may inhibit R&D and innovation and ultimately may be bad for society and business as a whole.
- A new book, 'Originals', attacked the assumption that nonconformist innovators are all bold, young risk takers, churning out one fantastic idea after another. In fact, they are often cautious late adopters. Their masterworks emerge - often unrecognised by their authors - because of the sheer quantity of average work they produce along the way. They “procrastinate strategically, testing and refining different possibilities” before making breakthroughs.
- Capgemini argued in a new report that innovation is no longer a novelty, rather, it is expected, and the key is to learn how to apply it at the right speed and scale in a secure and sustainable manner.
- Looking at metrics involving patent volume, application-to-grant success, globalisation and citation influence, Thomson Reuters claims to have developed an objective formula that identifies the companies around the world that are discovering new inventions, protecting them from infringers and commercialising them. This is what Thomson Reuters calls the “Lifecycle of Innovation” discovery, protection and commercialisation. It believes that that a great idea absent patent protection and commercialisation is nothing more than, a great idea. With intangible assets now comprising more than 80 percent of the S&P 500 market value, understanding the effect of these assets is critical. Proof of the economic impact of intellectual property (IP) can be found in statistics like IP-intensive industries generating more than $5 trillion in economic activity and creating 40 million jobs in the US alone.
- It is becoming obvious to the startup world that entrepreneurial teams based on a corporation’s divisional structure work poorly, argued INSEAD. The idea that a team should be made up of representatives from contributing divisions (such as marketing, sales and engineering) is being replaced with the concept of bringing together a hacker, a hustler and a hipster. The thinking being that the hacker creates rapid prototypes, the hustler engages customer feedback to capture users, and the hipster frames beautiful user interfaces and brings important connections to the team.
- Financial chiefs are more inclined to spend on research and development despite economic worries abroad. Some 36% of businesses planned to invest in R&D, up from 27% year earlier, the Grant Thornton International Business Report found when it asked US business leaders about their third-quarter sentiments. t the same time, North American CFOs are increasingly concerned about domestic impact from the slowing Chinese economy, which is affecting revenue growth expectations, according to Deloitte’s latest Global CFO Signals report.
- Innovation continues to rise in importance. In The Boston Consulting Group’s tenth annual global survey of the state of innovation, 79% of respondents ranked innovation as either the top-most priority or a top-three priority at their company, the highest percentage since they began asking the question in 2005, when 66% said innovation was their top or among their three top priorities. At the same time, science and technology continue to be seen as increasingly important underpinnings of innovation, enabling four attributes that many executives identify as critical: an emphasis on speed, well-run (and very often lean) R&D processes, the use of technological platforms, and the systematic exploration of adjacent markets.
- Making innovation and entrepreneurship a priority to attract and aid the development of young, technology start-up companies has earned New York City the top spot in a global comparison of 40 cities, according to a study from Accenture, Nesta and Future Cities Catapult. The report, 'City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CITIE)' also named London, Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam as cities with policy environments that foster innovation. New York’s key differentiator is its leadership over the last decade, which has supported the growth of a sector that now accounts for nearly 300,000 jobs.
- Strategy&'s 2015 Global Innovation 1000 Study found that firms that favour a more global R&D footprint outperform their less globalised competitors on a variety of financial measures. But going global simply to be global isn’t the answer. Company leaders must clearly articulate, as part of the overall business strategy, the role that innovation plays in the company’s mission. For example, companies should first decide which geographic markets and customers are critical to their growth strategy and then determine where R&D resources need to reside in order to best understand and serve those markets. It’s those types of decisions that should inform the organization’s global R&D footprint.
- In 'The essentials of innovation'. the leaders of McKinsey’s innovation practice outlined the strategic and organisational factors that distinguish successful innovators - and explained why having a chief innovation officer isn’t usually the best way to go.
- In 'Destination Digital: Exploring the Hybrid Role of Tomorrow’s CIO', Capgemini argued why it believes that the Chief Information Officer is also becoming the Chief Innovation Officer. It argues that we have now reached the cliff edge of traditional IT, the precipice of where the “second platform” (networked infrastructures, off-the-shelf applications, etc.) can take us. CIOs everywhere are now looking out at a coming tsunami of digital innovations. The digitalisation of business models, the instant nature of communication, the mobility of workforces and the delivery of services on demand has taken us to the “third platform”.
- Valeo announced the results of its international innovation contest, which involved inviting students from around the world to play an active role in automobile innovation by designing the product or system that will create smarter, more intuitive cars by 2030. First prize went to the Chinese team "Falcon View" from Peking University. They came up with a new way for autonomous cars to detect their surroundings. Instead of using lasers, the team built a cheaper wheel-based system using a camera. Two teams tied for second place. A German team "Auto Gen Z" from Saarland University developed a connected system, reinforcing traffic safety. This alternative system effectively combines the three mirrors in a car into a single, wide-screen display. An Indian team "M.A.D" from Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education in Pondicherry also created a connected system reinforcing traffic safety. Based on satellite navigation, this advanced collision warning system alerts drivers, in real time, from potentially dangerous conditions.
- There's little doubt that business leaders see the value of innovation - 95% of respondents to a recent survey claimed it is important enough to be a priority for C-level executives. However, while nearly every professional agreed that innovation was key, 44% reported that their business invested less than 2% of its annual operating budgets in innovation, and 63% said that their company didn't have a formal innovation management structure in place. 44% reported that their business invested less than 2% of its annual operating budgets in innovation, and 63% said that their company didn't have a formal innovation management structure in place.
- Post-mortems on failed companies point to issues with organisational structure, capabilities, and technology, but at the centre of these corporate demises is the failure to innovate, according to 'Business Innovation Nightmares And How To Avoid Them', from Forbes.
- The PwC and Google Innovation Lab that has just opened in Belfast is only the third such facility worldwide, others being in New York and Sydney. The Belfast Lab will work collaboratively with companies across the UK and Europe using digital technology to drive innovation and new ways of working. Less than 100 miles from Google’s European headquarters in Dublin, the Innovation Lab will complement PwC’s technology-enabled operations in Belfast, where there are currently more than 1,300 people.
- Research by strategy+business found that the geographic footprint of innovation is changing dramatically as research and development programs become more global. An overwhelming 94% of the world’s largest innovators now conduct elements of their R&D programmes abroad, according to the 2015 Global Innovation 1000 study, s+b's annual analysis of corporate R&D spending. These companies are shifting their innovation investment to countries in which their sales and manufacturing are growing fastest, and where they can access the right technical talent. Innovation spending has boomed in China and India since the 2008 study, when s+b first charted the global flows of corporate R&D spending. Collectively, in fact, more R&D is now conducted in Asia than in North America or Europe.
- In The Imagination Gap, strategy+business warned that a future that hasn’t quite conformed to prior expectations is perhaps the most striking facet of Strategy&’s recent series on industry trends, an in-depth analysis of the prospects for 16 of the world’s bellwether sectors. A single conclusion is common to all of them: to profit - indeed, to survive - in 2015 and beyond, companies must not just adopt new, unanticipated, and more decentralised forms of digitisation and technological innovation, but must use them to reshape their business models. Companies in every industry are confronting an imagination gap between the established and safe - but rapidly aging - way of doing business and the opportunities and challenges of the technologies emerging today.
- In The Frugal Way to Grow, strategy+business found that pioneering companies in mature economies are learning from emerging market companies a new way to expand their businesses. Frugal innovation is associated with resource-constrained and low-income emerging economies such as those of Africa, India, and China, but we have recently seen the rise of frugal innovation efforts in developed nations including the US and in Europe.
- The EU's Business Innovation Observatory was established in early 2012 under a mandate from DG Growth and with a EUR 1 700 000 budget to provide intelligence on the latest business and industrial innovation trends emerging in the European institutional, political, legal, and socio-economic context and evaluate how external factors influence the development of these innovations. The objective has been to facilitate the mutual sharing of perspectives and learning between stakeholders, identify critical success factors for firm strength, link barriers to success with relevant policy gaps and to deliver action-oriented recommendations. Through the observatory PwC Luxembourg in collaboration with PwC Netherlands and PwC Sweden has already published 58 case studies on novel business or industrial innovation trends. The case studies detail over 300 company business cases focused on topics such as big data, internet of things, new business models in ICT, the collaborative economy, workplace innovation, clean technologies, smart factories, connected devices and wearable technologies. A further 10 case studies are currently under development focused on space tech and services, servitisation, and the sustainable supply of raw materials.
- New research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) suggested that to realise consensus growth forecasts - 5.5 to 6.5% a year - during the coming decade, China must generate two to three percentage points of annual GDP growth through innovation, broadly defined. If it does, innovation could contribute much of the $3 trillion to $5 trillion a year to GDP by 2025 and China will have evolved from an “innovation sponge,” absorbing and adapting existing technology and knowledge from around the world, into a global innovation leader.
- As corporations seek greater revenues from working with entrepreneurs, large and small businesses are failing to use digital collaboration to innovate together, according to new research by Accenture. As a result, they are putting at risk a $1.5 trillion growth opportunity, equivalent to 2.2 percent of global GDP. In the United States, $433 billion of potential growth is at risk, equivalent of 2.7 percent of the U.S. economy. The report, Harnessing the Power of Entrepreneurs to Open Innovation, surveyed more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and 1,000 large companies in the G20 economies. It found that 82 percent of corporates say they can learn from startups/ entrepreneurs about how to become a digital business. And they expect the proportion of their revenues generated by collaboration with entrepreneurs to rise from an average of 9 percent today to 20 percent in five years.
- Robert B. Tucker, President of The Innovation Resource Consulting Group. listed his top 10 innovative companies. He believes that the criteria for existing lists is too narrow, and therefore incomplete. Some focus solely on patents (Thomson Reuters), R&D spending (Booz and Co.), three-year financial performance (BCG), "innovation premium" (Forbes) and a "popularity poll" among a magazine's editorial staff (Fast Company). However, Tucker believes additional criteria are also important: visionary leadership, innovation culture, customer delight, corporate reputation, unique business model, and sustainable process for innovation.
- Arizona State University in the United States established the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, which will be a trans-disciplinary centre for examining all aspects of innovation in order to better predict outcomes.
- The co-CEO of Android app developer Appster, noted that the intense focus growing companies have on enhancing their current processes and core revenue streams can sometimes get in the way of change, too. As most innovation requires disrupting the core revenue streams, a firm needs to have a robust culture of embracing change to innovate.
- In Creating Urgency around Corporate Innovation Kellogg Insight argued that innovations are critical if a company is to remain competitive, but for many larger firms, this may not necessarily align with past practices. Many companies spend decades building up a core business and the bureaucracy to support that core business. That structure is a great advantage for intrapreneurs in terms of having established channels of distribution and a brand that has a hard-fought trust with their customers, but it can also mean that everybody’s time and attention is focused only on that core business.
- See also The Next Innovation Opportunity in China from strategy+business.
- Altimeter Group and Capgemini Consulting found that major global technology hubs are the preferred destinations for setting up innovation centres. 60% of companies that have set up these centres have a presence in Silicon Valley, but many more hubs are emerging – the top 10 cities in the analysis represent only 33% of total innovation centres. The US and Europe have the largest share with 29% of total innovation centre, closely followed by Asia at 25%. Penetration varies significantly between sectors; Manufacturing is a clear leader at 58%, but despite facing increasing pressures from digital disruptions, Financial Services lags at only 28%.
- EY appointed Jeff Wong as its new global Chief Innovation Officer. Wong was previously the director of eBay’s business incubation group and also has JP Morgan & Boston Consulting Group on his CV.
- EY opened a Global Innovation Centre in Spain that will focus exclusively in managing and analysing big data in financial services. The investment is a key milestone for EY, which is growing its offering in data analytics and data mining, and is part of the organisation’s US$500m global investment in analytics. The centre is based in Madrid - a European hub for data innovation - but will serve clients across the globe.
- Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are the top-four most innovative companies, according to a survey of technology and business decision-makers. The findings are found in Tech Pro Research's IT Innovation Report 2015, which highlights how the leading technology companies are embarrassing the Cloud. Respondents from larger companies say their established vendors are falling short on innovation. However, Cisco and IBM both have strong innovation showings in the survey.
- According to Thomson Reuters' 2015 State of Innovation report, more unique inventions were filed as patent grants and patent applications during 2014 than any other year in history. However, a slowing pace of patenting activity in several critical industrial sectors may signal some developments affecting innovators around the globe. Global innovation continued to climb during 2014, but at the slowest pace seen since the global economic recession hit in 2009. The Thomson Reuters report didn't draw any specific conclusions as to why the innovation slowdown had occurred, but did reveal a correlation between published scientific literature and patenting activities, noting that the former typically precedes the latter by three to five years.
- General Electric published its latest GE Global Innovation Barometer report, a wide-ranging opinion survey of senior business executives, all actively engaged in the management of their firm's innovation strategy. The study was conducted in 25 countries and involves over 3,000 business leaders. According to GE,innovation is a global phenomenon which will grow and continue to deliver impressive dividends through the merging and combining of talents, ideas, insights and resources across the world.
- Interviewed by Chief Executive, Deloitte’s US CEO Cathy Englebert heavily emphasised the firm’s strategic focus on innovation around technology, with specific mention of digital, cloud, 3D, cyber, artificial intelligence and analytics. Englebert said, “The ecosystem of the digital economy is evolving. We intend to partner with companies and form alliances and collaborations in this ecosystem of emerging digital communication. Cyber is a key area for us. Cyber conjures high-profile breaches, but for us it’s about methodology. Is it vigilant, resilient and secure? We’re also examining the impact of such things as 3D and wearables. Then there’s analytics. Like everyone, we’re investing in analytics and how they can be used in business. We want to help our clients use big data to drive their strategy.”
- The Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 for the European Union showed that innovation performance has been stalling in the last year. The impact of the economic crisis has become visible for several member states and overall there is a mixed picture, with 13 Member States presenting a declining innovation performance and 15 Member States improving their performance compared with last year.
- In an interview with the British-American Business Council, the Boston consulting Group discussed how the changing relationship of strategy and innovation requires new things of leaders. Traditionally, strategy and innovation were treated as different activities. Strategy was about the things you could plan. And there was a lot that you could plan, with confidence, in the relatively stable period from the 1960s up to the mid-1980s. Innovation was more about the unplannable, the occasional leaps in imagination and creativity in products or technology that renewed the strategy. But with the increasing dynamism and unpredictability of today's business environment - driven by technology, globalisation, and other factors - innovation has become increasingly vital to success, and strategy and innovation are converging. In many cases, innovation has become the heart of strategy.
- Harvard Business Review claimed that, despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit in many companies. Innovation initiatives frequently fail, and successful innovators have a hard time sustaining their performance. Why is it so hard to build and maintain the capacity to innovate? The reasons go much deeper than the commonly cited cause: a failure to execute. The problem with innovation improvement efforts is rooted in the lack of an innovation strategy.
- See PwC's Innovation - June 8, 2015.
- In What if all companies were innovative?, INSEAD imagined a world in which innovative companies are the norm, explaining how to achieve it and whether or not it would be good for society. If companies shared these traits and the world’s innovation output went up, would that be a good thing? Yes, concludes INSEAD, but with a caveat. Some of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world have scarily effective cultures of innovation. And just think back to the financial crisis; some would argue there was too much innovation in banks – innovation of the wrong kind. Nevertheless, throughout human history, good innovation has eventually prevailed over bad innovation.
- In its annual Disruptor 50 list, CNBC featured private companies in 16 industries - from aerospace to financial services to cybersecurity to retail - whose innovations are revolutionising the business landscape. These forward-thinking upstarts have identified unexploited niches in the marketplace that have the potential to become billion-dollar businesses, and they rushed to fill them. In the process, they are creating new ecosystems for their products and services.
- Harvard Business Review warned that many companies are struggling with a challenging question: how do they know whether their chosen innovation strategy is actually bearing fruit? Beneath that question is a very real worry. If Chief Innovation Officers, company-bred venture capitalists, and creative catalysts cannot prove that they’re moving the needle on things that actually matter to their employer, their jobs will almost certainly evaporate.
- According to Shaping Tomorrow, there will soon be a fundamental shift in the types of jobs that are available for workers and in the innovative skills demanded by employers: cloud computing will drive innovation in new services and experiences that leverage supercomputing capabilities; intensive monitoring and tracking websites will require enhanced technical innovation as well as cooperation; every company will see the benefits of "hyperscale" innovation trickle into their data centres in the form of cost reduction and technical innovations could significantly lower the costs of delivering e.g. healthcare.
- More than two-thirds (68%) consumers across the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Hong Kong and Mainland China are willing to pay on average 21% more for a brand they consider innovative. Results of the 2015 Ketchum Innovation Kernel Study also showed that nine in 10 consumers see innovation as important to their brand preference. When asked where respondents get their trusted information about a company’s innovation, they ranked the top four sources as professional reviews (56%), media articles (52%), advice from friends and adult family members (48%) and social platforms (37%).
- In The eight essentials of innovation, McKinsey argued that strategic and organisational factors are what separate successful big-company innovators from the rest of the field.
- Fast Company published its Most Innovative Companies analysis, including 20 lessons it gleaned for 2015.
- According to Bloomberg, South Korea is the No. 1 most innovative country, and proof that countries can lift themselves up by their bootstraps through a combination of government support and private enterprise. In 1957, not long after the Korean War, the nation's GDP per capita was on the same level as Ghana's. But R&D doesn't do much good if it stays bottled up in the lab. In many countries, such as France, scientists who are government employees working in prestigious institutes have little incentive to commercialise their work, so the public is slow to benefit.
- In a new book, Frugal Innovation: How to Do More with Less, an academic at Cambridge University’s Judge School of Business, argued that frugal innovation has continued to advance in the emerging world and is also now conquering the rich worldin which a financial crisis and recession have been followed by a spell of stagnant household incomes and, in parts, persistently high unemployment. Indeed, some of the West’s biggest multinationals are designing no-frills products in developing countries with the intention of selling them in developed ones, too.
- Wired claimed that while we’re all familiar with Moore’s Law: the observation that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years or so, but not all innovation follows such a curve. Organisational and process improvements, in particular, seem to proceed at a glacial pace. Management fads come and go, and they don’t even seem to be getting much better, let alone better at a faster rate. The problem today’s organisations face is that digital transformation relies both upon technology advancement as well as organisational innovation – and yet, it seems an inability to accelerate the latter may be putting the whole attempt in jeopardy.
- An EIU series of reports, commissioned by HSBC, looked at the challenge of harnessing risk management in the service of innovation. Good risk management can identify new business opportunities and be a powerful aid to innovation. However, when the risk function is reduced to a compliance-only role, its strategic benefits are lost. Ensuring effective collaboration between risk and innovation is easier said than done. There are cultural barriers to overcome and old habits to break. Stronger risk management frameworks that take a holistic approach to risk can help to bring down some of these barriers.
- FT analysis found that “disrupters” have been wreaking havoc on traditional business models everywhere during 2014. As technology puts new tools into innovators’ hands, the old boundaries between sectors are breaking down. Amazon has transformed bookselling, branched out into general retail and is now experimenting with delivery by drones. Apple shook up both the music and telecoms industries, and now has designs on our wrists. Six years after it came into existence, Airbnb has more rooms available than IHG or Hilton, the world’s top hotel groups.
Selected innovation-related intelligence during 2014:
- New research suggested that there are two types of innovation culture: formulaic Cultures at found in companies like BMW, and entrepreneurial Cultures as found in companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.
- Open innovation has become a strategic issue for many large companies. This article examines 15 companies' approach to open innovation collaboration between global firms and start-ups.
- Seven Deadly Sins of Large Company Innovation
- claimed that creating new businesses in any environment is difficult, but, unfortunately, much of the difficulty of doing this within a large company is self-inflicted. There are seven common mistakes that enterprises make in the pursuit of net new growth. Understand them, and how they can be avoided.
- EY and the University of Aachen pointed out that 90% of corporate innovation efforts do not result in new products or services, so a tool to help an organisation understand how to measure success is badly needed.
- A futurologist argued that businesses can only find ‘true innovation’ by ignoring what the market dictates and embracing creative, disruptive thinking instead.
- Innovation methodologies are rapidly evolving. The newest form is Co-Innovation. Core to this approach is collective intelligence which is now possible to formally organise in three pillars.
- Data from the European Commission found that Sweden is the European Union's most innovative nation, followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland - the four countries that invest most in research and innovation.
- How to Create an Innovation Culture explained how one goes about building an innovative organisation ought to be unique. But for every organisation, it starts with the right mindset - the unexpected must be expected.
- How To Measure Innovation claimed that organisations need to disrupt the business-as-usual mindset.
- Thomson Reuters released its "2014 State of Innovation" report which analysed global patent data as a proxy for innovation across 12 key technology areas
- Total worldwide patent volume across the 12 technology areas increased by 26% over the prior year, with 11 of the 12 sectors showing increases. The only area to decline was the Biotechnology sector.
- Innovation Trends claimed to identify six of the most significant trends shaping the innovation field in 2014.
- Measuring the Performance of Corporate Innovation Initiatives argued that the business models of large corporations are being disrupted faster than ever before.
- In The Innovator’s Manifesto: Harnessing the power of disruption, Deloitte argued that while most people may think that innovation is a game of luck with no way to predict success, it can be much more predictable than business leaders think.
- "Next Five in Five" is an IBM list of innovations that it claims have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.
- There is a wide range of methods and strategies for fostering innovation. A collection of videos featured top innovators (the example below focusing on creating an innovative culture) across many industries, who articulated what innovation means to them.
Key developments in 2011:
- The Global Innovation Index claimed to show which nations are on the rise and which are not.
- In Eye on Innovation. Dialog explored how the right information can help organisations find and monitor innovation. Recent topics included: Creating an Innovation Pipeline; Smart Meters: Yea or nay?;Robots - Innovations resulting from military research; A power greedy world - Can innovation save the day?
- Deloitteheld its annual “Innovative thinking” contest.
- Innovation lessons from the "Big Apple"
- Monitoring the "front end of innovation".
- Booz & Co’s annual study of the world’s biggest R&D spenders showed why highly innovative
- companies are able to consistently outperform. Their secret appears to be that they’re good at the right things, not at everything.
- In Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce, Forbes Insights released a new study of the world's largest companies which shows the link between a diverse
- and inclusive workforce and the creation of new products, services and business processes.
- The pace of innovation in pharmaceuticals
- has reportedly slowed to a crawl and industry profits have fallen.
- , partnered by, inter alia, Booz & Company
- released the results of The Global Innovation Index 2011, which ranked Switzerland
- as the most innovative country in the world
- Innovation can be a key to kickstarting economies, especially if companies can master the global innovation economy
- The best companies in the world are increasingly embracing agility and continuous innovation, according to new research conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity and Human Resource Executive
- However, a majority of global executives are dissatisfied with the level of innovation in their companies, according to an "Executive Quiz" commissioned by The Korn/Ferry Institute
- This gives extra impetus to understanding the role of chief innovation officers
- Harvard launched a new innovation lab and HBR described the three-box approach to business model reinvention, while also launching with McKinsey the management innovation awards
- Commentators watched the rise of Chinese and Indian innovation, as part of a wider focus on innovation in government
- Bruegel talked about better innovation policies for better lives and planned an innovation dinner
- Apple's "innovation premium" was analysed, as was the process of "innovating innovation"
- Yet the FT wondered whether radical innovation may be a thing of the past, since with technology fuelling small-scale improvements a ‘eureka’ moment appears all the less likely
- Are we entering an era of "innovation starvation"?
- PwC Germany promoted its Innovation Management survey.
- In Time to innovate, Deloitte argued that despite an uneven and unpredictable recovery, growth and transformation are on the minds and agendas of forward-thinking executives and that uncertain times can be catalysts for innovation – for those willing and able to be bold.
- The Economist argued innovation is today’s equivalent of the Holy Grail: rich-world governments see it as a way of staving off stagnation and poor governments see it as a way of speeding up growth.
- An HBR article argued that corporate innovators should rebalance their innovation portfolios, by taking a look at where they are spending their money, and finding ways to increase investment in efforts where they search for and create tomorrow's markets.
- In The Innovation Revelation, a leading academic argued that innovation initiatives work the same way as climbing a mountain: the struggle to launch something new can be substantial, but most of us forget that what comes after can be even harder.
- In its Innovation Extravaganza briefing, Trendwatching argued that innovation is the only way to survive in an ever more global, competitive business arena.
- The UK's Work Foundation announced the official launch of the Big Innovation Centre, a new initiative working across government, public and private sectors and higher education institutions to turn the UK into a global innovation hub.
- A new book, The Innovative Leader, looked at how to turn "cubicle dwellers into innovation warriors" and how to replace "a culture of comfortable incremental progress into one of hungry adventure".
- Another new book, Look at More, examined why innovation is so beneficial, five drivers that impel innovation; and how to make the most of innovation’s guiding principles.