So where’s the new news? For some, we know this, but it is nice to see your belief backed up with data.

I recently read an innovation report produced by AIM, the Australian Institute of Management, called “Innovation: The New Imperative“. They surveyed almost 2,500 of their members, seeking to understand the impact of innovation on a business, and if there was business benefit achieved in making innovation a priority.

The findings are pretty conclusive, and I quote from the executive summary:

The findings of this survey reveal the key ‘building blocks’ of innovation and how they achieve improved business outcomes. The data confirms that organisations perform better when management embraces a structured, planned ‘whole of organisation’ approach to innovation including:

  • managers get involved in innovation projects;
  • innovation is prioritised in the business strategy;
  • business strategy and technology is strongly aligned;
  • willingness to take calculated risks;
  • teamwork is emphasised;
  • employees are highly skilled;
  • clearly articulated employee capabilities relate to innovation;
  • employees are rewarded financially for innovation contributions; and
  • competitors are benchmarked.

If you are thinking that that sounds like too much hard work, then the next quote may help:

The survey shows that revenue growth; profitability; productivity; cash flow; and other elements of business performance were higher for innovation ‘leaders’.

With all this evidence, has your organisation embraced a “structured, planned whole of organisation approach” to innovation?  If not, you may start to regret it soon…