|26 March, 2020

Less than 60% of leaders support trial and error linked to innovation, according to latest innovation report

Fear of risk and change at the source of low corporate innovation according to recent report by The Talent Enterprise, Sia Partners and the Global Innovation Management Institute.

Dubai: As organisations worldwide have been rolling out innovative solutions to overcome challenges brought on by COVID-19, some are struggling to keep afloat due to their inability to adapt to this fast-changing situation. While there are several possible explanations for this, it seems that aversion to risk could be a big one. This is according to talent assessment and behaviourmetry™ experts, The Talent Enterprise, along with leading strategy consulting firm Sia Partners and the Global Innovation Management Institute, who have just released The Innovation Mindset of Leaders, a worldwide report based on the study of 600 senior managers and leaders as well several subject matter experts from leading organisations such as Sanofi, SAP and the Dubai Government.

Findings include:

  • 3 out of 4 organisations are risk averse when it comes to innovation
  • 41% of organisations open to risk are considered as very innovative while only 3% of risk averse organisations are seen as very innovative
  • Only 49% of risk averse companies are “good” at cross-organisational collaboration pertaining to innovation compared to 72% of non-risk averse organisations
  • Risk averse companies appear to be less proficient at analysing risk


David Jones, CEO of The Talent Enterprise, explains, “An organisation’s ability to innovate has never been more critical than it is today, and risk-taking is an inherent part of innovation. Having said this, it needs to be calculated and ironically, the numbers show that risk averse organisations are two times more likely to be poor at risk analysis than the ones who are open to it. If leaders are not willing to analyse risk, it suggests that they don’t truly embrace innovation. In fact, while most managers and leaders feel upper management is supportive of innovation only 59% believe it supports trial and error pertaining to it. According to the experts we interviewed, resistance to change seems to be what lies beneath this phenomenon.” 

Unwillingness to change perhaps explains why processes are not put in place to foster innovation. According to the report, 26% of respondents felt their company was excellent at product and service innovation but only 12% felt the same about their processes. Experts however agree that agility and having the right processes in place underpin innovation-readiness.

Rafael Lemaitre, Partner at Sia Partner adds, “A few months ago, the economic landscape was evolving quickly but in the past few weeks, we’ve seen market needs literally changing overnight. Organisations without the necessary flexibility in their strategies and processes to adapt will struggle. The ones who that do will capture new opportunities.”

For more information or to download The Innovation Mindset of Leaders report, please visit www.thetalenterprise.com 

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About The Talent Enterprise

The Talent Enterprise is a leading-edge human capital ‘think’ and ‘do’ tank answering tomorrow’s questions today. We help accelerate change through our talent assessments, behaviourmetry™, innovation-readiness, youth enablement and capability development solutions, grounded in applied research and powered by technology. Partnering with policy-makers, employers and educators, we enable people and communities to thrive, advancing the application of positive behavioural science.

About Sia Partners

Sia Partners is a next-generation consulting firm focused on delivering superior value and tangible results to its clients as they navigate the digital revolution. Sia Partners’ global footprint and expertise in more than 30 sectors and services allow them to enhance clients' businesses worldwide. Sia Partners has conducted extensive research on the field of Growth and Innovation, for both private and public sector organisations. Sia Partners works with many organisations helping them to develop their innovation culture, capabilities as well as to establish world-class frameworks and processes

About the Global Innovation Management Institute

Founded in 2009, the Global Innovation Management Institute (GIMI), is the global nonprofit standard certification board for innovation and innovation management. GIMI was initiated by a group of chief innovation officers, innovation executives, academics and consultants from around the world. GIMI’s worldwide advocacy for making innovation a professional business discipline is reinforced by our globally recognized standards and certification program, extensive academic programs, communities of practice, and professional development opportunities.

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