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Innovation Trends Report Card Part 3: Are We Investing Enough

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 “not investing enough” as the largest barrier to innovation. We also asked the investment question another way, “what is aiding or accelerating your innovation process?” Only 29% of respondents said, “we invest.”

We can invest in our innovation programs with our dollars, but also with our people. When respondents were specifically asked whether their “company has the right amount of people dedicated?” the answers were split down the middle. This tells us that this debate is happening right now inside many organizations as they work to plan future investments and budgets.

Digging into the resource question further, we wanted to know “are the group(s) overseeing innovation dedicated?” The overwhelming majority of responses (77%) said the groups overseeing innovation had to manage in addition to their daily job responsibilities and very few (23%) were dedicating resources to the role of innovation.

Most organizations are trying to manage innovation with resources that have other responsibilities. Are we setting up our innovation programs to fail if they're not properly staffed with dedicated tools and resources? Do we have the capacity within our organizations to innovate? Have we prioritized innovation with budget and allocated resources? If not, and this gets us back to the accountability question we covered in part 2 of this blog series, why would anyone want to own this in their organization?

In conclusion, the innovation frontline workers that responded to our survey are exposing real execution problems – not enough dedicated resources (50%), lack of tools (23%), and no clear process (33%). Yet this comes at a time when global spending on R&D has reached a record high of $1.7 trillion dollars (source: UNESCO).

In our final blog, we will look at the remaining execution barriers – no clear process (33%), lack of tools (22%), and no metrics (53%).

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