Turning Those Ideas into Cash!

This is one of the key messages from "Innovate 2008: Is the Tide Turning?", a report on innovation released by Boston Consulting Group.

"It is worth pointing out that only 20 percent of companies considered a shortage of great ideas to be the problem... Most companies, in fact, have an abundance of good, even great ideas. But having ideas and turning those ideas into cash are two entirely different things. Innovation is often equated with the former, when in reality it's all about the latter."

In conjunction with its companion report "Measuring Innovation 2008: Squandered Opportunities", this global BCG senior management survey is a must-read, particularly in today's tough economic climate. "Rising dissatisfaction with the return on their investments in innovation may be taking a toll on companies' willingness to spend."

What are the most significant barriers within industries, according to the report?

  • Idea selection is the biggest hurdle for technology and communications companies (39%)
  • Manufacturing companies struggle most with a lack of insights to customers (31%)
  • Consumer products companies are hindered most by a shortage of great ideas (29%)
  • Automotive companies wrestle most with an inability to market and publicise their innovations (32%)
What factors are hurting companies' innovation returns?
  • Lengthy product development times (36%)
  • A risk-averse corporate culture (36%)
  • Difficulty choosing the right ideas to commercialise (33%)
  • A lack of co-ordination within the company (33%)
Interestingly, these are four of the major factors that prompted the re-innovate challenge to help Australian businesses to drive innovation (See (Re)Innovate.)

Thanks to Bill Jarrard, Chief Imagineer, www.mindwerx.com, for his input to this blog.