Urenio Watch Watch: Innovative Companies

Expanding the Innovation Horizon

IBM has released the Global CEO Study 2006, in which it takes a comprehensive look at innovation. The survey population includes 765 CEOs, business executives and public sector leaders from 20 different industries and 11 geographic regions.

The analysis of the survey’s data revealed the following insights about innovation:

  • Business model innovation matters. Competitive pressures have pushed business model innovation much higher than expected on CEOs’ priority lists. But its importance does not negate the need to focus on products, services and markets and operational innovation.
  • External collaboration is indispensable. CEOs stressed the overwhelming importance of collaborative innovation – beyond company walls. Business partners and customers were cited as top sources of innovative ideas, while research and development fell much lower in the list. However, CEOs also admitted their organizations are not collaborating nearly enough.
  • Innovation requires orchestration from the top. CEOs acknowledge that they have primary responsibility for fostering innovation. But to effectively orchestrate it, CEOs will need to create a more team-based environment, reward individual innovators and better integrate business and technology.

Based on these CEOs’ collective insights, the study offers several considerations that can help companies sharpen their own innovation agenda:

  • Think broadly, act personally and manage the innovation mix – Create and manage a broad mix of innovation that emphasizes business model change.
  • Make your business model deeply different – Find ways to substantially change how you add value in your current industry or in another.
  • Ignite innovation through business and technology integration – Use technology as an innovation catalyst by combining it with business and market insights.
  • Defy collaboration limits – Collaborate on a massive, geography-defying scale to open a world of possibilities.
  • Force an outside look…every time – Push the organization to work with outsiders more, making it first systematic and, then, part of your culture.

Someone should fill out the registration information on the IBM site in order to download a summary of the study, and to request a copy of the CEO Study final report.


IBM Global CEO Study 2006