Is Innovation Becoming a Four-Letter Word?

In a new study just released by Accenture, as reported by SmartPlanet, it appears a large number of top executives at U.S., U.K. and French companies with annual revenues of more than $100 million believe “Corporate innovation spirit is fizzling out.

According to the study: “From 2009 to 2012, the number of companies that saw their primary goal as disrupting current markets or introducing entirely new product categories dropped by one-third.”

Granted, the study’s findings come from a survey of enterprise-level executives, and not small and medium businesses, so perhaps it says more about a company’s size relative to the reported widespread de-emphasis on innovation than it does about dwindling innovation as a whole.

That’s an opinion I discussed in an earlier Office Solutions blog post, and one I believe the Accenture study supports.

Also, by 2009 (the first year of the study’s timeframe) much of the business world had emerged from the global recession, and the subsequent period of relative ease appears to be a significant factor in the reported innovation slowdown.

According to SmartPlanet: “In the midst of the economic downturn a few years back, it seemed a matter of survival that organizations reinvent themselves as innovators and disruptors that can transcend rapidly shifting markets. Now, with the economic heat turned down a bit, they are slipping into their old, change-resistant ways.”

From the Accenture study:

  • Only one-third, 34%, believe their company has a well-defined innovation strategy.
  • Close to half, 46%, say they have become more risk averse in considering new
  • Almost half, 45%, see their company “pursuing a portfolio of smaller, safer opportunities rather than seeking the next breakthrough.”

Regardless of a company’s size or the economic climate in which it operates, an increasing aversion to innovation in general cannot be viewed as anything other than disturbing.

I encourage you to read the study in its entirety, and return here to share your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts

Receive Updates


  1. Emily Romaine May 30, 2013 - Reply

    This is very interesting…and “disturbing”. Reading this information is inspiring. We all know that it is our ability to innovate that gives us an edge, in business and personally. Good food for thought. Thanks !

  2. Nathan Van Ness May 31, 2013 - Reply

    @Emily: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Indeed, innovation = advantage.

Post A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To see how we protect your personal data, view our Privacy Policy.