“Ad Hoc, slow, short-term, insular.” That’s the overall characterization of corporate innovation processes that appears in a recent “State of Innovation” report by CB Insights, based on a survey of 677 Corporate Strategy executives. While a lot about the identity of the firms in the sample remains unknown, the conclusions appear reasonable and support familiar reasons for alarm. Despite 41% of the respondents admitting that their firms are “at extreme risk of disruption,” 78% of innovation portfolios are allocated to continuous innovation instead of disruptive risks. It’s a phenomenon we see daily: we are at risk, we know it and yet we choose not to respond in an appropriate fashion. The reasons why for such paradoxical behavior are not addressed in the CB Insights report, but I believe that they can be gleaned from numerous conversations that we have had with a wide variety of corporate executives.
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