McKinsey report: Room for improvement in innovation, executives say

by | Jul 8, 2012

Leaders of some of the world’s top companies are satisfied with the overall output of their organizations, but they think they could improve on innovation and motivation, according to the latest McKinsey Global Survey.

Executives were surveyed from a wide range of company sizes and industries. They were happy with their achievements in terms of key business functions, including managing risk, encouraging networks to be built within the company and building bridges with governments.

However, while 61 per cent of respondents said they were happy with their innovative product development, only 44 per cent said they were satisfied with the overall innovation strategy within their organizations that included everyone.

There were 71 per cent of executives at companies with multiregional operations who said their organizations led the way in creating new products and services. Compare this to the 67 per cent of respondents leading companies who operate in only one country that said they were happy with their innovative goods and services. The McKinsey report suggests there is an advantage in having people “on the ground” across several markets.

However, there were more executives from single region companies who thought they had a better inclusive innovation strategy (55 per cent) than those executives who lead multiregional operations (50 per cent).

When asked how they could improve their operations, 28 per cent said they could drive innovation more effectively across regions and divisions. Developing leaders who are culturally and functionally skillful across different markets was seen as the most important way to improve operations (35 per cent).

Businesses of all kinds can do a great deal to improve innovation within their companies, respondents revealed. International companies found that having people on the ground in each country (or as many markets as possible) was linked to meeting customers’ expectations.

It is also interesting to note that companies that grew organically rated higher on several important points, as opposed to companies that grew thanks to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Companies should take this into consideration when international expansion is on their to-do list.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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