Innovation – the process of translating an idea or invention into a product or service that adds value – is a theme that inspires, drives and motivates modern day businesses.
But can big businesses be innovative? According to Forbes, there are doubts.
“Big business fails at innovation… an informal glance around the big business landscape won’t reveal much in the way of innovation… the problem is business culture.” Forbes, January 2015.
For many, the current thinking – a hypothesis supported by Forbes – is that only small, start-up companies can be innovative, not big businesses.
Many causes are cited, such as over-regulation, cumbersome bureaucracy and rigid hierarchical structures. However, there is also a strong feeling that a more ‘intangible’ burden may be to blame and that’s a culture that isn’t conducive to innovation.
Is this fair? Do big businesses have cultures that inhibit innovation or is this just a modern day myth? How can big businesses succeed at innovation?
Firstly, we reveal the overwhelming importance of innovation to growth. With half of the leaders in our survey quoting innovation as a very important factor for maintaining a successful business for more than 2 years, no business can afford to stand still and even the giants of the corporate world must continuously evolve.
Against this backdrop, we uncover a promising picture for big business. Virtually all respondents (98%) believe that big businesses can be innovative – and with over one third (39%) stating that high levels of innovation are already rife amongst our largest organisations, big businesses seem well placed to disrupt, rather than be disrupted.