As companies begin to refocus on growth, innovation has once again become a priority: in a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 84 percent of executives say innovation is extremely or very important to their companies’ growth strategy. The results also show that the approach companies use to generate good ideas and turn them into products and services has changed little since before the crisis, and not because executives thought what they were doing worked perfectly.
Further, many of the challenges—finding the right talent, encouraging collaboration and risk taking, organizing the innovation process from beginning to end—are remarkably consistent. Indeed, surveys over the past few years suggest that the core barriers to successful innovation haven’t changed, and companies have made little progress in surmounting them. More positively, the results also suggest some ways that companies can become more successful at innovation. In particular, they can formalize processes for setting priorities and commercializing products and integrate innovation into their strategic-planning efforts.