A new Harris Interactive survey, Fortune 1000 Executives' Perspectives on Enterprise Innovation, sponsored by Olympus, found that while the vast majority of the 304 executives who responded believe that enterprise innovation is extremely important, 53% believe their organizations aren't doing enough to promote innovation. The survey identifies several barriers to enterprise innovation.

For purposes of the survey, Harris and Olympus defined enterprise innovation, as opposed to product innovation, as "the transformative business processes, practices, organizational planning and models that enable a business of any size to operate more effectively, profitably and/or competitively."

Olympus cites the Model-T as product innovation and the assembly line as an enterprise innovation.

The top 5 barriers to enterprise innovation:

  1. Too much focus pressure to achieve short-term goals/quick results
  2. Other business goals/objectives take priority
  3. Lack of time
  4. Lack of incentives to inspire or reward innovation
  5. Lack of systems or tools for fostering enterprise innovation

Of particular note: "47% report that their company has no team, process, or system for vetting new ideas in order to decide which ones to invest in."

Innovation management software is one way to help put process around innovation, vet new ideas and retire unworkable ideas. For an idea of how the process works, see our piece on how The Nielsen Company uses idea managment software.

However, all the process in the world won't change a thing unless there's organizational support and resources for change. At least 70% of survey respondents thought CEOs could improve enterprise innovation by doing the following:

  • Creating a corporate culture that encourages innovation, even at the risk of failure
  • Allocating budget to innivation initiatives
  • Rewarding innivation with recognition or other non-financial incentives
  • Rewarding innovation by providing financial incentives
  • Leading by example by personally participating in the innovation process

Photo by Bart