6 key insights on innovation revealed by global leaders

6 key insights on innovation revealed by global leaders

By Mariam Jomha

Access our complete report for a deep dive into this article’s key points, along with insights from 26 global leaders in innovation.

Prescouter surveyed over 700 innovation leaders at the world’s top companies. They shared insights on their innovation strategies & how they tie in with the broader focus of sustainability, resilience, and technology.

Here are the 6 key takeaways from our State of Innovation report: 

1. Companies mostly rely on two innovation strategies

Companies that use the essentials of innovation rely on two effective methods: external collaborations and brainstorming sessions.two innovation strategies

According to Dr. Maikel Boot, a Technical Director at Prescouter, “There is a common thread between external partner collaborations and brainstorming sessions because both involve thinking outside of confined and known spaces. Cross-discipline discussions, inviting external experts, and brainstorming allow people to contribute unique angles to existing problems.” 

2. Innovative companies stay informed on latest trends:

Respondents ranked external partnerships or collaborations, industry conferences, and events the highest to keep up-to-date on the latest developments. This is followed by the valued role of in-house expertise and knowledge.Innovative companies stay informed on latest trends

One significant change was the increased awareness and need for open innovation to seek out new expertise & technologies not found or readily available inside the company…[perhaps] the biggest challenge was finding the right balance between dedicating resources to incremental innovation for short-term gains versus investing in longer-term adjacent or transformational innovation.” – Tim Kidd, Senior Open Innovation Account Manager at Stahl.

3. Innovation presents challenges and limitations: 

Limited access to funding and talent are the biggest challenges facing industry innovation. Organizations should prioritize efforts to address funding and talent constraints to promote innovation.

Innovation presents challenges and limitations

4. AI is an industry disruptor:

Companies increasingly recognize the demographic transition alongside AI-based platforms’ emergence and rapid advancement. In light of these developments, companies must acknowledge that innovation is no longer an option but a necessity for progression. 

Dr. João Guerreiro, Prescouter Technical Director, emphasizes, “We’re at a pivotal moment where companies need to shift from simply acknowledging the potential of AI to actively exploring their practical applications. As with any disruptive innovation, those who embrace it early will gain a competitive edge, and those who do it too late risk becoming the Kodak or Blackberry of today!”Impact of AI on innovation

Among the leaders interviewed, 52% answered that AI will become more prevalent and disruptive, with 40% expressing that AI will complement human expertise.

Innovation has advanced with a stronger push towards automation driven by technologies like A.I. Sustainability and collaboration have also become important aspects of innovation as organizations recognize the need to work together to address environmental issues and achieve common goals. There is also a renewed focus on the consumer experience as companies strive to create more personalized products and services.” Aruna Kolluru, Chief Technologist, AI at Dell Technologies.

5. Most corporate leaders walk the talk:

While 80% of respondents agree that innovation is crucial to their company’s overall strategy, only 46% revealed that more than 5% of their budget went towards innovation.

Companies must consider that top innovators invest more in R&D and digital technology to experience higher returns. Evidence indicates that AI can accelerate R&D stages and innovation processes. Likewise, companies must understand that AI engines or platforms can be tailored to any company’s essential needs.Role of innovation on overall strategy

I believe innovation must be part of any organization that I lead. Rather than waiting for an emergency to find growth, leaders need to have a dedicated office in search of new ideas and a culture that supports innovative thinking.” Shelley Rosen, Founder & CEO, Luxe Bloom.

6. Innovation enhances sustainability approaches:

Innovation helps to keep sustainability as the key driver in the next decade to remain competitive and meet customer expectations. Driven by R&D and digital technologies, innovation helps to optimize resource acquisition and utilization. This helps to achieve sustainability goals effectively.Innovation & sustainability

“We prioritize the impact we have on our customers. We want to know what our customers need as soon as possible – ideally, even before they know what they need!” Mostafa El-Bagoury, CEO, Siemens Egypt.

Final thoughts:

The insights from the global business leaders we surveyed reveal essential strategies for navigating innovation. Investing in research and development, alongside AI, is a critical innovation strategy for promoting sustainable growth. As companies adapt to technological disruptions, particularly AI, they must prioritize innovation to stay ahead in the market and meet consumer demands. 

If you have any questions or would like to know if we can help your business with its innovation challenges, please contact us here or email us at solutions@prescouter.com

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