Not a day goes by without innovation being talked about in the public domain. In just the last few weeks: the Welsh First Minister has announced £115m in new funding to support innovation in the Welsh economy, the UK was announced as the second most innovative country in the world and Hermès has launched it’s “elegantly innovative” branded Apple Watch. It’s clear that public and private sector organisations alike understand that innovation is vital to success.
But despite this, new research we’ve conducted suggests that many British businesses are still failing to act. We spoke to over 1,000 board members, senior managers, middle managers and everyday office workers within large organisations across the UK and found that:
- Innovation is the number one pillar of company culture
- It’s high on the agenda of all the businesses we spoke to
- The average employee currently has no understanding of what innovation means to their employer (72%)
- 38% of managers say innovation isn’t their responsibility because it’s not in their job description
All of which is cause for serious concern. How can businesses be innovative if the driving workforce doesn’t understand what it means and have no cause to support it?
Over 90% of those we spoke to said improving customer experience and making cost savings were two of the most important strategic objectives for their employers. 85% agreed these areas could be improved through more innovative ideas and approaches, but almost the same amount stated innovation ambiguity and barriers meant this benefit is unlikely to ever be realised (80%).
These statistics are staggering and suggest it is now time to shift the conversation from the same old rhetoric about the imperative to innovate, to a more meaningful one about what can be done to overcome failure and drive tangible, effective and sustainable activity.
This is what the Everyday Innovation report will begin to do by helping organisations to understand what best-practice innovation looks like, where they are on their journey to achieving it, what they can do to get there faster, and to ensure it continues evolving with their business.
With this report, we are starting the new innovation conversation.