According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, returns to R&D have declined by 65% over the past three decades. The reason appears not to be that R&D, and hence innovation, has become harder, and it is certainly not due to a lack of investment (up 5% on 2016) or a lack of resources (scientists and engineers employed in R&D up 250%). What appears to be the problem is that companies have, to quote from the article, “gotten worse at innovation”.
We look at two firms and compare their respective cultures for innovation: how they have defined “innovation”, how effective they have been at aligning their talent and how they have leveraged insight into the challenges to effective implementation. We also compare the business impacts of getting innovation culture right or not, and discuss how insights from people data have helped on company re-align its thinking around the innovation problem.