top of page

Innovation Trends Report Card Part 2: Who Owns Innovation?

In this 4-part series, we take a closer look at factors that will help organizations remove barriers to innovation and tap into accelerators that have the potential to unleash transformative growth.

In part 1 of our blog series, we identified “no clear ownership” as the second highest barrier to innovation, second only to “not investing enough” (which we will cover more in part 3). A fascinating discovery from the 2022 Innovation Trends Report was the answer to the question “who owns innovation?”

We broke the question into two parts: 1) Who participates in innovation; and 2) Who owns innovation?

The top groups that lead participation in innovation include the expected departments: strategy (59%), engineering (55%), product development (51%), operations (47%), marketing (43%), R&D (42%) and sales (40%) with the category “everyone” coming in at the bottom of the list (28%).

Yet, when we asked who owned innovation, there was overwhelming agreement that it belongs to everyone (33%).

The good news: this year’s survey illustrates the desire to move toward inclusive “all-in” cultures where organizations encourage everyone to participate in the ideation and innovation process.

The bad news: we have an accountability problem. When everyone owns something, from an execution point of view, no one owns it. Could this be why 11% of respondents declared that no one owned innovation at their companies?

On the topic of accountability, the question was asked “when products failed to meet the new revenue targets, who is most likely held accountable?” The top response was that nobody (32%) was held accountable, nudging out sales ownership by almost 1%.

This year’s survey revealed ownership and accountability as key execution problems. While it is a best practice for organizations to build all-in, all-inclusive cultures where anyone and everyone should be innovating, we argue that innovation needs an owner. It requires some sort of accountability. Ultimately, who is going to answer for the outcome and measure, report, and optimize the results?

Finally, why would companies feel confident in investing more in innovation if there is an ownership and accountability gap? In part 3 of this blog series, we will take a look at “not investing enough” — the second highest barrier to innovation.


bottom of page