We recently did a quick survey on innovation among the attendees of the World Business Forum, a major business event which is taking place this week in New York. The main results, presented on stage Tuesday, are detailed here.  

My company has a culture of innovation
These results confirm what we have suspected for some time – that there is a gap between the need for innovation as perceived by senior management and the prevailing creative focus of the organization’s culture. Putting it simply: While senior management may focus on innovation being a top priority for the company, the organization itself has shortcomings in its culture that make sustainable creativity difficult.

Innovation is critical to sustaining competitive advantage in my sector

We have observed that often executives take part in innovation workshops that leave them stranded on what we call “brainstorm island.” They have lots of ideas, some of them good, but they have a poor record when it comes to implementing those ideas.

Our research in this area continues as we try to understand the dynamics of taking better decisions about innovation and how innovation architects, such as A.G. Lafley at Procter & Gamble, design and structure their organizations to become creative cultures. (See our review of Lafley’s book.)

My CEO clearly communicates the need for innovation

There also exists a gap between the need for innovation as perceived by senior managers and the ability of the CEO to get his/her story line clear on an innovation strategy. Our experience confirms that when it comes to the creativity mission for most businesses, CEOs have a long way to go before their message is understood throughout the business.





Here are the detailed numbers from the survey, should you want to see them.

Innovation is critical to sustaining competitive advantage in my sector

Strongly agree                                                              117                                               58%

Somewhat agree                                                           67                                                33%

Neither agree nor disagree                                             9                                                 4%

Somewhat disagree                                                       6                                                  3%

Strongly disagree                                                           2                                                  1%

Not applicable                                                                 1                                                  0%

Total                                                                              202                                             100% 

My CEO clearly communicates the need for innovation

Strongly agree                                                               72                                                36%

Somewhat agree                                                           83                                                41%

Neither agree nor disagree                                            23                                                11%

Somewhat disagree                                                      13                                                 6%

Strongly disagree                                                           8                                                  4%

Not applicable                                                                 3                                                  1%

Total                                                                              202                                             100%

My company has a culture of innovation

Strongly agree                                                              47                                                23%

Somewhat agree                                                          81                                                40%

Neither agree nor disagree                                           38                                                19%

Somewhat disagree                                                      24                                                12%

Strongly disagree                                                          12                                                 6%

Not applicable                                                                 0                                                  0%

Total                                                                              202                                             100%