One could probably rebuild an entire life-size replica of Stonehenge using all the scholarly articles and books on Leadership and Management styles, 7-fold over – and we are not about to repeat what many knowledgeable, insightful business scholars have said before.
However, in an evolving world – where innovation, collaboration and sustainability is a topic so familiar and as common as the salt in our grinders, the milk in our coffee and the water in our kettles, we still we see organisations battling not with understanding what needs to be done, but rather identifying the way, for them, to get started. And that’s where the topic becomes complex.
In a survey conducted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, half of all UK businesses were, what they call, innovation active. Wonderful. Great start.
However, half of all UK businesses were not.
We’re not typically the glass-half-empty organisation, but on this occasion, that statistic is indeed concerning.
The survey went on to say that the the proportion of innovation active firms had actually fallen slightly from 53% recorded over the period of 2012 – 2014.
Not only were half of all UK businesses not focussed on innovation, but those that were, are becoming fewer.
Arguably, we live in trying times, where the need to remain sustainable and survive shifts the balance towards a slower, steadier pace. Possibly why the majority of those innovation-active businesses are large organisations, compared to just 49% of all SMEs who follow suit.
Where are they putting their money?
It would appear that the chief driver for innovation within organisations in the UK, lies within the internal R&D function. Taking the number 1 spot for innovation investment recorded by the survey, organisations are gearing up their Development teams and investing in Software that keeps their businesses looking forward, accessible and agile.
Interestingly-enough, a close third taking the place for investment in innovation recorded in the survey, was staff-related – and more specifically, training teams to become more innovative. Let’s pause for a second.
Perhaps the investment in training teams to become more innovation-aware hints that existing leadership and management structures don’t necessarily have the knowledge, capacity or ability to lead innovative organisations.
Dead-end? Absolutely not.
We don’t mean to draw an obvious tangent towards the well-known Twelve-Step program to beat addiction, but the analogy is relevant. Admitting there’s a problem is the very first step to overcoming that problem – and it would appear, with the investment into training towards innovation being in the top 3 areas of investment for businesses in the UK, that business leadership teams recognise that there’s work to be done.
And that’s great!
If you are ready to invest in innovation, but you don’t know how to get started, then you may want to talk to us. Exponential growth is our mission, and helping you succeed, for the long-term, is our commitment to you. Let us help you invest in the right way, and get your innovation ball rolling, today.