The innovation imperative

In today's business environment, companies, organizations, and government agencies are increasingly realizing that innovation is essential not simply to their success but to their very survival. Innovation is not simply a buzz word, an abstract concept, or an intangible idea; it is at the core of every aspect of business.

There are many types of innovation: product, service, and business model innovation are but a few. Also, a common distinction is between incremental innovation that results in small improvements to existing products and services and transformative innovations which result in ground breaking products or services.

The data from several recent surveys of large global companies shows that nearly 75% of companies either had a well-established innovation strategy or were developing one. The most successful innovators are similar in at least three respects. They have leaders who foster a climate for innovation, a culture that expects and rewards it, and an organizational structure that supports cross-functional and / or cross-business collaboration.

While creating an innovation ecosystem can take time, failing to innovate can put global organizations at risk and diminish their ability to sustain or gain a competitive advantage. This challenge can be met if companies realize that their ability to innovate is inextricably linked to their leaders, culture, and organizational design.

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