Executives have reported that innovation is extremely important to business and, with the help of big data, they should know more about their customers than ever before. However, the truth is that innovation is easier said than successfully implemented. 

By Clayton M. ChristensenTaddy HallKaren DillonDavid S. Duncan | Harvard Business Review

For as long as we can remember, innovation has been a top priority—and a top frustration—for leaders. In a recent McKinsey poll, 84% of global executives reported that innovation was extremely important to their growth strategies, but a staggering 94% were dissatisfied with their organizations’ innovation performance. Most people would agree that the vast majority of innovations fall far short of ambitions.

On paper, this makes no sense. Never have businesses known more about their customers. Thanks to the big data revolution, companies now can collect an enormous variety and volume of customer information, at unprecedented speed, and perform sophisticated analyses of it. Many firms have established structured, disciplined innovation processes and brought in highly skilled talent to run them. Most firms carefully calculate and mitigate innovations’ risks. From the outside, it looks as if companies have mastered a precise, scientific process. But for most of them, innovation is still painfully hit-or-miss.

What has gone so wrong?

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Harvard Business Review, September 2016 Read the September 2016 Issue






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