slow bicycle sign for innovation achievers

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Does slow and steady win the innovation race?

May 2, 2018

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Rather than getting to the market as quickly as possible, businesses are taking a more measured approach to innovation in 2018. Comparing to data from 2016, the GE Global Innovation Barometer found that innovation achievers are increasingly cautious in their approach to innovation.

The report takes a closer look at the businesses that say 50-100% of their company’s innovations have positively impacted their bottom line over the last five years. Instead of launching a product quickly, 65% of companies – a 10-point increase on 2016 – are waiting to perfect and test their innovation to make sure the customer is completely satisfied from the start.

Besides taking a more ‘slow and steady’ approach, there are three things that innovation achievers are doing to maximise their Return on Innovation (ROI):

  • They know how vital digitalisation is to innovation success – in 2018, 84% of achievers are integrating digital capabilities at the core of their business model.
  • They focus on measurement – as well as using digitalisation to measure their ROI, more than half of companies have a clear structure and process in place to measure their return. A total of 50% of businesses also measure factors other than revenue, such as company reputation, service outcome, customer adoption rates and impact at societal level.
  • They are thinking about long-term strategies – companies are recognising the importance of protecting their core business so it continues to generate the profitability needed to support Research & Innovation efforts. Successful innovators are looking at the long-term impact of innovating and are more prepared to strategically work towards a long-term ROI.

A more cautious approach to innovation is happening across most countries. However, the report found that ROI success varies across the globe, with France claiming the highest achievement and Japan claiming the lowest.

Read the full report here.

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