Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Leadership and innovation - Mc-Kinsey Survey

When searching the internet I found two very interesting peices of research on the McKinsey Quarterly website, they conducted a survey of executives on leadership and innovation in September 2007, receiving responses from 722 executives at the senior vice president level and above and from 736 lower-level executives around the world. The respondents represented a broad range of industries. 

When reading I found that the best way to represent the findings was to show you them in the form of graphs which they had made I feel they are much easier to interpret and give you a much better interpretation of their results.

The finding from the McKinsey Quarterly of executives on leadership and innovation are as follows:

Executives say innovation is very important, but their companies’ approach to it is often informal, and leaders lack confidence in their innovation decisions. Top managers and other professionals agree that the biggest challenge is talent but disagree on why. Nonetheless, executives agree on some steps to improve innovation.

Some 70 percent of corporate leaders say innovation is among their top three priorities for driving growth.

Top teams can help build a more innovative culture in several ways:

    1.  Embrace innovation as a top team. It’s not enough for the CEO to make innovation a personal goal and to attend meetings on innovation regularly. Members of the top team must agree that promoting it is a core part of the company’s strategy, reflect on the way their own behavior reinforces or inhibits it, and decide how they should role-model the change and engage middle management.
    2. Turn selected managers into innovation leaders. Identify managers who already act, to some degree, as network brokers and improve their coaching and facilitation skills so that they can build the capabilities of other people involved in innovation efforts more effectively. The goal: making networks more productive.
    3. Create opportunities for managed experimentation and quick success. This approach is typically the best way to start any change effort in large organisations. Quick success matters even more with innovation: people need to see results and to participate in the change. To get going quickly and learn along the way, select an innovation theme or topic area and then create small project teams. While you try out topics and ideas, test the most effective leadership and organizational approaches for your organization. The goal isn’t to get it right the first time but to move quickly to give as many influential employees as possible a positive experience of innovation, even if a project doesn’t generate profits immediately. A positive experience will make all the difference in building the organization’s capabilities and confidence.

     Overall, I found these articles very interesting and thought I would share them with you as it is actually primary research done by Mc-Kinsey and covers a huge amount of areas to do with innovation. It shows what companies do with innovation and how they go about it when failures occur which I found really interesting to see the results! 

Reference list:
Barsh J, Capozzi M, and Davidson J 2008,  Mc-Kinsey Quatrerly, [online] Availaible from: [Accessed 16/1/2012]

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