What Makes a Company Innovative?
It’s not what you think. Innovation today is such an overused word, and often ill-defined, that we thought it was important to ask today's innovation practioners what they thought it took for their company to be 'innovative.'
More than creativity, the #1 thing that makes a company innovative is a climate that continuously fosters innovation. This is a shift in thinking from popular belief.
While most people view innovation predominantly as a creative exercise, results from futurethink's 2006 Innovation Tracker show that in order to be creative you have to have the right environment to do it. “Just tasking a team to ‘be creative’ won’t get you to be innovative,” says Steve Brown, VP of innovation for KitchenAid. “It’s having a corporate climate that gives people the space to experiment and take risks. Only then can you truly sustain it.”
So what makes a company innovative? Here are the results from the futurethink 2006 Innovation Tracker Survey:
- Ability to create a climate that continuously fosters innovation
- Creative thinkers
- Excellent products/services design
- Strong leadership
- Breakthrough ideas
- Ability to generate business building ideas
- Constant product/service improvement
- Ability to define process that helps identify the most innovation ideas
- Having a clear innovation strategy that generates real results
- A perceived WOW factor
- Excellent PR and marketing
- New products/services represents healthy % of revenue
- Powerful brand name
(full 2006 Tracker Survey is available at www.getfuturethink.com)