Innovation Tops the Agenda of Just 10% Of Companies Today [Study]

Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash

We recently discussed how delivering pristine customer experience and putting real value behind the product is the best way to do business. We also noted that, unfortunately, thinking outside the box is not always high on the agenda of a given company. But until today, we didn’t know just how many companies favored operations over innovation.

In PwC’s latest Pulse Survey, two questions were fired off in the direction of 246 chief executive officers at various (unnamed) companies, both meant to assess the level of innovation within each organization.

Raise your hands

The first question sought to confirm where innovation sat on the list of priorities for these companies. The results were somewhat disappointing, with only 10% putting upheal at the top of their to-do lists. Most companies are only partially concerned with disruption, or revolutionizing the industry they play in.

51% said “innovation is one of our priorities,” and 36% noted that they “value” innovation. Just over one third said this was the statement that identified them best: “We’re good at recognizing new ideas and approaches and adopting them quickly.” 3% went on record to say “innovation is not a priority for us in the markets in which we operate.”

Profit versus value

The answers to the second question shine even more light on the state of innovation today. Keep in mind that this is a global survey, not one that reflects local trends. PwC asked: “Which is more important to the success of your company – operational effectiveness or innovation?” Here are the numbers, for a clearer picture of the urge to renovate in business today:

  • 2% Operational effectiveness is far more important to the success of my company than innovation
  • 3% Innovation is far more important to the success of my company than operational effectiveness
  • 8% Innovation is more important to the success of my company than operational effectiveness
  • 23% Operational effectiveness is more important to the success of my company than innovation
  • 64% Innovation and operational effectiveness are equally important to the success of my company

That last one is pretty encouraging, but it’s hard to swallow. If 64% of the companies would have ‘change’ at the top of their agendas, the world’s economy would be booming. In reality, it’s anything but.

PwC also asked the execs to rate their degree of leader, visionary, facilitator, sponsor, advocate, and follower. Get your business jargon fix in the full report: Unleashing the Power of Innovation.

1 Comment

You can post comments in this post.


  • I think CEOs aren’t exactly suited to answer questions about innovation as depending on the corporate structure, they’re usually the ones who get to hear the new ideas last. Middle-management, who usually filters ideas from actual employees plays a huge factor in what things reach the executives.

    Even so, after the troublesome years, you can’t blame companies for trying to keep things profitable, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. Let’s hope Google’s Alphabet move will show just how important nurturing innovative ideas really is.

    AndreiD 3 years ago Reply


Post A Reply