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Companies Fail to Make Innovation A Part of their Company’s Culture: Study


Innovation is one of the most overused buzzwords in our industry, yet it remains more vital and relevant than ever. In the post-pandemic times, indeed, CIOs are spending more time on innovation, with three quarters stating they have increased innovation efforts, according to a new study. However, despite increased efforts less than a third describe innovation as part of company culture, it says.    

The study, which questions 1,000 CIOs from around the world, finds that despite a strong focus on innovation, just 27% of CIOs describe innovation as part of their company culture.

The research also reveals that 21% of respondents admit that innovation is confined to specific areas and departments. A further thirty-four percent of CIO respondents also say that innovation consists of large-scale projects driven by dedicated teams. The results suggest a lack of innovation embedded in company culture and organisational willingness to evolve and adopt modern technologies.

The hesitancy to expand innovation across the business and encourage new ideas is impacting businesses’ ability to keep up with the wider market and competitors. Businesses must emphasise a culture of innovation or risk not supporting changing customer demands and losing valuable employees as the XYZ generation workforce demands digitally focused working practices that match their expectations for user experience.

Nearly 80% of survey respondents believe their organisation is already falling behind competitors because of the pace of changing processes. Particularly, CIOs state they are struggling to keep up in increasing efficiencies (38%), streamlining workflows (37%) and enhancing services (36%).

“Businesses don’t have to approach innovation with an ‘all-in’ strategy. It can start with optimising operational processes such as empowering employees to build their own workflows or automating a process that was previously manual,” says Toby Alcock, CTO of Logicalis.

According to Alcock, the key to success is building an innovative culture where employees can surface and test new ideas quickly and providing the time, tools and processes for them to do so.

“By doing this, employees will produce ground-breaking ideas and solutions and in turn, will feel satisfied within their roles and employee turnover will decrease. Without taking these measures, businesses risk losing top talent to competitors that are more advanced,” he says.

Expanding an innovative culture across a disseminated workforce is harder than scaling to employees working under one roof. Robust, digital communication solutions enable a hybrid workforce to connect remotely to develop an innovative culture.

Alcock believes, an updated approach to innovation and company-wide collaboration will enable businesses to improve productivity and gain a competitive edge.

Matthew Le Merle, author of Corporate Innovation in the Fifth Era explains how companies can make innovation a part of their culture.

  • The most successful companies have incorporated innovation as a key part of their corporate strategy.
  • Innovation must come from the top down; successful CEOs live and breathe it, and their corporate cultures encourage it.
  • Business leaders need to stop focusing on what worked in the past and start thinking about what they need to do to succeed in the future.
  • Companies need to close the gap between knowing what they should do and actually doing it.
  • Innovation should be baked into every strategy and plan from the start, not bolted on afterward
  • Most innovation will come from external sources; executives need to develop ways to bring that into their organizations.
  • Failure is a key learning in the innovation process, and allowing a corporate culture that accepts failure and promotes risk
  • Innovation needs a leader who can drive across the business units and work closely with startups and outside innovation

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