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Big business are struggling to innovate, say new survey findings


Big business are struggling to innovate and risk-averse culture, red tape and time constraints are mostly to blame, says a new survey commissioned by Studio Graphene.

Over 750 senior decision makers from UK organisations were questioned about their organisations’ approach to innovation. Some 71% have the budgets and resources to innovate, a figure rising to 86% among large businesses (250+ employees). Most have dedicated teams and departments for innovation (56%), with 75% of them meeting more than once a month to discuss innovation.

However, 50% consider rivals to be more innovative than them, a figure that jumps to 71% among large businesses. Over 60% complain there are too many steps to go through for new ideas to translate into action – particularly prevalent in large businesses (87%).

Around 45% believe their organisation is too risk-averse to embrace new technologies for the sake of innovation, with the number rising to 70% among 250-plus-employee organisations. And, over 50% of decision makers – and over 70% of those in large companies – say they are too busy to think creatively or pursue opportunities for innovation.

Elsewhere, the study revealed that over a third (37%) of organisations have tried and failed to implement a new technology in the past year, found more common in the public sector than the private sector (45% versus 35%). Half (50%) say Brexit has hampered innovation in their organisation – this view is more common in large businesses (68%) and in the public sector (58% versus 48%).

“Innovation is one of the most used buzzwords in business – that’s because almost every organisation is, essentially, seeking new ways to improve what they do and how they do it. Unfortunately for large businesses, our research shows they are facing more pronounced challenges in their pursuit of innovation,” said Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director of Studio Graphene.

“Having budgets and personnel dedicated to innovation is one thing, but if the processes for creating and implementing new ideas are not in place then employees’ creative thinking is likely to get lost in a web of red tape and rejected by risk-averse managers. Companies, particularly large ones, must change their mindsets. They must create new structures to fast-track exciting ideas, and they must be ready to fail along the way because the long-term benefits of unearthing a great area for innovation will typically outweigh the odd unsuccessful project.”

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