Innovation? We’re About Average! Actually, We’re Below Average!


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Below AverageBusinesses in the UK are very average when it comes to innovation! That’s according to a new survey of innovation around the world, The Kenexa WorkTrends survey which shows that UK businesses are slightly better than average when it comes to encouraging the trying of new things, but we’re behind when it comes to actually doing it!

I’d argue therefore that this research means that we are below average when it comes to innovation. Why? Well, our definition of innovation is ‘the successful exploitation of new ideas’. It means that innovation is not just about coming up with ideas, it’s about doing something with them! This research shows that there’s clearly work to do!

Employees from businesses from around the world were asked for their opinions on the key elements of organisational innovation:

  • Freedom to try new things, even if they might not succeed
  • Actual action on trying new innovations
  • Support to implement new ideas
  • Encouragement to innovate and try new things

The report highlights that only 48% of UK employees report positive innovation within their business compared to 79% in India, 64% in China and 55% in UAE. The good news is that we are better than Japan (27%), France (38%) and Russia (40%).

So how do innovative businesses make this happen? Well, our research suggests that first of all they overcome the common barriers to innovation (you can see a list of 10 of those common bariers here) and work on 4 key areas.

It’s all about…

– Leadership! Winning organisations ensure that innovation is an integral part of the way they do business! They have a clear vision and this is driven by the leaders – they create time to think and work strategically, they get ‘innovation’ on the agenda and thy encourage and support their people to do the same!

– Systems and Processes! They establish simple processes to generate ideas and suggestions from customers, their people and their support networks. They might not all create ‘20% time’ like Google who ensure that all their employees spend at least 20% of their time on non core activities, but they establish simple processes that ensure that ideas are generated, and suggestions for improvement are made. See here how Tim Cook of Apple does it!

– Creating The Climate! This is about engaging people to get involved and contribute. It’s also about allowing, encouraging, even pushing people to ‘fish in different ponds’ – that means creating time to get out of the ‘day to day’, out of their own teams and departments and their ‘comfort zones’! It’s also about ‘championing their champions’ – rewarding and recognising those that get involved and contribute! Click here to see how winning leaders do this!

Innovation Assessment Tool– Taking Action! Winners take action, not notes! In innovation driven businesses, time, effort and resources are put into making things happen and this is monitored and measured – it is certainly not left to chance!

So, how do yous your business measure up? Are you above average?

Well, to find out you can download a very simple….


to find out! Why not get your team to do the same, create a bit of time to discuss the findings, and then crucially…. DO SOMETHING!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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