Survey reveals how executives, engineers define and prioritize innovation differently
Innovation is an important key to business success, but misalignment around how to achieve it or even how to define it is making it more difficult for companies to achieve success.
In its inaugural Industrial Technology Index, a global survey of how companies innovate, TE Connectivity, a world leader in connectors and sensors, has unveiled key differences in how engineers and executives approach innovation. The report analyzes the results of an online survey taken by engineers and executives working in a broad range of industries at companies located in the United States, Germany and China.
“Our findings emphasize the importance of collaboration and shed light on the qualities that organizations must have if they hope to continue innovating in the current economic environment and beyond,” said CEO Terrence Curtin.
According to the survey, the difference in how executives and engineers approach innovation begins with how they define it. Fifty-seven percent of executives said innovation is a total transformation, while 55% of engineers define innovation as an iteration or improvement. The potential impact of this disparity is reflected in the data, as nearly half of the engineers surveyed say their organization’s goals for innovation are unrealistic and that they struggle to meet them; only 34% of executives agreed.
Although there may be disagreement in what innovation truly means, it remains important to both groups surveyed. In fact, 90% of executives and 88% of engineers rank it as their organization’s top priority, with the areas of renewable energy and cloud computing being a particular focus in the near future. Investment in innovation is a sticking point, however–83% of engineers think their company needs to fund innovation more to meet their goals, while 53% of executives see the need.
The survey unveiled a potential misalignment between engineers and executives on the importance of sustainable innovation—one in five engineers say their company does not have a clear strategy for implementing sustainable practices, something Curtin sees as a red flag.
“As we innovate, it’s vital that TE and companies across industries keep sustainability at the forefront as we collaboratively work toward a better tomorrow,” he said.
TE has published a full analysis of the survey results, identifying 10 key takeaways for engineers and executives to consider as they refine their innovation culture within their organizations.
View the Industrial Technology Index at te.com/techindex.
ABOUT TE CONNECTIVITY
TE Connectivity is a global industrial technology leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive and connected future. Our broad range of connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest environments, enable advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications and the home. With more than 85,000 employees, including over 8,000 engineers, working alongside customers in approximately 140 countries, TE ensures that EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS. Learn more at www.te.com and on LinkedIn, Facebook, WeChat and Twitter.