Innovation makes people’s lives better and is a catalyst for companies’ growth. In fact, businesses that innovate their products, services and processes, are more likely to have happy customers and gain market share.

According to the McKinsey Global Innovation Survey, 84% of executives think that their future success is dependent on innovation.

Interestingly, only 6% of them are satisfied with their company’s innovation performance.

What went wrong?

We’ve analysed some data and identified 3 main reasons.

Lack of time

The most common barrier to innovation is lack of time. People are busy doing their jobs and they struggle to find time to consider new ideas and then implement them.

According to PwC’s Innovation Benchmark Report, 72% of executives claim they're not out-innovating their competitors; this results in a situation where the companies that are able to innovate, gain market share and stay on top whereas the other ones lose market share.

The image below shows how Samsung and Nokia are prime examples of the above-mentioned situation. Samsung has been constantly innovating and has managed to stay ahead of the competition for the last 5 years; on the other hand, Nokia couldn’t keep up and ended up losing market share.

Lack of strategic alignment

Another barrier to innovation is the lack of strategic alignment within the company. Not being able to incorporate the innovation strategy into the overall business strategy creates friction and delays in the actual execution of new processes. This is something that many companies experience, in fact, the PwC’s Innovation Benchmark Report shows that 54% of executives surveyed claim to have issues in bridging the gap between innovation strategy and the overall business one.

Lack of skills

Lastly, a common reason why innovation fails to take place is the lack of skills. The GE Global Innovation Barometer 2018 shows that 74% of global executives believe a lack of skills is an issue facing their industry. 64% of them claim this problem is restricting their ability to innovate (a challenge that has increased over time, up from 56% in 2014).

What can be done to fix these issues and let innovation thrive?

Companies are complex environments where many individuals and teams operate having different goals, personalities and skill sets. Innovation is complex, too because it requires both creativity and method. This is why in-house solutions are difficult to be implemented and don’t often bring the desired results.

You could bring your employees together in a boardroom with doughnuts and coffee and hope that by the end of the day a brilliant innovative idea emerges. The problem is that even if it happened, you would then need to involve other teams to turn that idea into reality - which takes time and can be frustrating process wise.

When it comes to innovation, you need to keep the process as lean as possible and the best way to do it is to interact with one counterpart that takes care of everything from idea generation to product delivery.

So, Ask the experts. Innovation in business is crucial and should be treated strategically. As much as you would not try to repair the roof of your own house if it was broken- at least I hope you wouldn’t unless you were an expert - you shouldn’t try to fix issues related to your innovation process by yourself.

Find a strategic partner able to (quickly):

  • understand what success means to you and what your goals are
  • come up with innovative ways of improving your existing product, process and organisation
  • deliver the product or service needed to meet and surpass your goals and reach success

Innovation is not an accessory anymore. It is a crucial component of your business and it’s likely to represent your competitive advantage. Why would you miss the opportunity of being on top of this game?