By Chris Gandy
Came across two pieces of PwC research which shows that CEO’s around the world are increasing their efforts to innovate and find new ways to do business, in a move to stimulate growth in a challenging global business environment.
A PwC Pulse Survey of 246 CEOs in North and South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East revealed that 97% of CEOs see innovation as a top priority for their business. The Pulse Survey was conducted as a follow-up to a recent PwC Survey of 1,330 CEOs around the globe which showed innovation to be a major and lingering CEO concern.
What was particularly telling about the research is that it also shows that there has been a shift in how CEOs view their role in driving innovation. Today’s CEO recognises that they need to be directly involved in driving innovation within their organisation, with 37% reporting their role as ‘leader’ in this area, and 34% as ‘visionary’. This contrasts sharply with the situation three years ago when a similar survey showed only 12% of CEOs were leading the charge on the innovation strategy.Chief executives are taking greater personal responsibility for directing and inspiring innovation as it becomes an increasingly important factor in sustainability and generating growth.
PwC observed that the increasing importance of innovation to business leaders is largely due to a transformed competitive climate in which the internet, social media and digital devices had revolutionised consumer expectations and dialogue with their markets. This is prompting a shift away from product enhancement towards gaining better customer insights.
41% of the CEOs said that the major obstacle they faced in to achieving their aims was the culture of their organisations. Having the right culture to foster and support innovation and a strong visionary business leadership were seen as the most important ingredients for successful innovation.
The implications for not-for-profits are clear here and should prompt Board members to ask:
“Have we made innovation a primary KPI for our CEO?”
And maybe CEO’s should query:
“Am I seen as the champion of innovation in our organisation or have I delegated that responsibility?”
About the author: Chris Gandy is a Director of Cause and Effective a group dedicated to leading cause-based organisations to greater sustainability and social impact. Also you can now follow us on Twitter.