A new A.T. Kearney study on innovation was issued this week. Among its findings are:
* Companies that are the most successful innovators have a clear focus on a robust innovation strategy in addition to opening the innovation process to parties outside the company.
* Companies that take a scientific approach to innovation focus their employees and external partners on the right innovation strategy for the company, the right mix of ideas with the right balance of risk and reward, resulting in more commercially viable products and services.
* Leading companies invest more than three times as much effort at the front end of the innovation process (Innovation Strategy, Idea Generation and Concept Development) as other companies.
* Companies that are successful innovators consider a much larger percentage of submitted ideas while bringing fewer of them to the concept testing stage.
* Leading innovators explicitly define innovation within the overall corporate business strategy.
* Leaders also develop more sophisticated open innovation networks with suppliers, customers, academia and other partners.
* Leading companies are excellent in terms of speed -- the time it takes from generating an idea to profiting from it -- and are capable of igniting and sustaining a companywide passion for innovation.
* Idea generation was also identified as an important strategic innovation process step. The study found that innovation leaders involve a broad array of partners to drive the idea generation process.
* These companies embrace open innovation to pull ideas from myriad sources and they employ the Internet to capture combined intelligence on a global scale.
Most of these findings agree that the conversations we've heard in our joint IMD-MIT Driving Strategic Innovation program, and it's interesting to see how much broader the innovation space has become than it was when what happened within the firm was the only thing that mattered!