All over the world, Innovation is high on executive’s agendas. However what innovation means and how it is prioritised has not been well understood, and within organisations different interpretations can often be confusing. The problem is that while the eyes of the CEO are fixed on innovation, the body of the organisation may not be following.
Now a PricewaterhouseCoopers Pulse Survey of 246 Chief Executive Officers in North and South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East reveals that 97% of CEOs see innovation as a top priority for their business. The report is available to download from the PwC website.
The report also shows that there has been a shift in how CEOs view their role in driving innovation.
This contrasts sharply with the situation three years ago when a similar survey showed only 12% of CEOs were leading the charge on the innovation strategy.
How companies innovate is also being transformed. Companies might once have been satisfied with incremental product improvements. Now, they are increasingly looking for breakthrough developments in their business models and the solutions they provide for customers.
The most successful companies recognise that innovation is a mainstream process, which brings together employees, customers, suppliers and a range of different partners from beyond the organisation. At the heart of these developments is the realisation that how you innovate determines what competitive advantages you deliver.
Today innovation can drive new service and product offerings and development of brands, ways of marketing, business models, delivery channels and so on, and it can also be at the root of new business opportunity creation and the launch of entirely new business models.
Innovation can be seen as a key differentiator in markets that are increasingly hard-fought and it is destined to become ever more so as competitive pressures continue to increase across all industry sectors. Innovation separates the winners from the losers. In a world of hyper competition, pro-active and continuous work with innovation is imperative to gain competitive advantage.