Economic Recovery Inspires Innovation and Frustration

(BusinessWeek) — While they continue to slog through the longest economic downturn in decades, companies are no longer making cost-cutting their primary focus. Innovation is now front and center on the corporate agenda, according to a global survey we recently conducted with 65 senior executives from diverse industries. Executives are adding more breakthrough innovations and business model changes to their portfolio to fuel the growth engine for the recovery. Yet our survey reveals that companies by and large are having trouble making innovation efforts work. Executives are struggling to find the right combination of business strategy, operational model, and execution to deliver profitable growth. Why the concern with execution? Currently every aspect of business is fair game for reinvention-revenue and margin models, functional areas, and even the organization itself. The risks are also a lot higher than in the past. With so many moving parts and so much riding on the outcome, it’s no wonder executives are anxious that they will miss the target when they execute. As one executive told us: “Management feels very comfortable about our ability to manage costs-we have a good track record. We don’t have the same track record for organic growth from innovation.” In other words, it’s harder to innovate than it used to be. Read the full article.

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