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Corporate Culture Stifling Innovation, New Research Reveals

Risk-averse cultures, excessive red tape and time constraints are restricting innovation within large businesses, new research from Studio Graphene has found.

The London-based digital agency commissioned an independent survey of more than 750 senior decision-makers within UK organisations. It found that 71% of organisations have budgets and resources dedicated to innovation, with this figure rising to 86% among large businesses (those with over 250 employees).
 
The majority (56% and 77% of large businesses) have a team or department dedicated to innovation, while three quarters (75%) meet more than once a month to discuss potential areas to creatively improve.
 
However, despite it being a priority for many organisations, most are struggling to become more innovative. In fact, half (50%) consider their rivals to be more innovative than they are; this figure jumps to 71% among large businesses.
 
More than three-fifths (62%) complain there are too many steps involved in getting management to give the go ahead for new ideas. This is particularly prevalent in large businesses (87%).

Risk-averse culture, red tape and time constraints cited as key barriers 
 

Studio Graphene’s research also showed that 45% of decision makers – 70% of those in large businesses – believe their organisation is too risk-averse to embrace new innovative technologies. The respondents also cited time constraints as a significant issue; 51% feel they are too busy to think about innovation, with the number rising to 71% in large companies. 
 
Elsewhere, the study revealed that over a third (37%) of organisations have tried and failed to implement a new technology in the past year – this was more common in the public sector than the private sector (45% versus 35%). Half (50%) say Brexit has hampered innovation in their organisation – this view is more common in large businesses (68%) and in the public sector (58% versus 48%).
 
Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director of Studio Graphene, said: “Innovation is one of the most used buzzwords in business – that’s because almost every organisation is, essentially, seeking new ways to improve what they do and how they do it. Unfortunately for large businesses, our research shows they are facing more pronounced challenges in their pursuit of innovation.
 
Having budgets and personnel dedicated to innovation is one thing, but if the processes for creating and implementing new ideas are not in place then employees’ creative thinking is likely to get lost in a web of red tape and rejected by risk-averse managers.
 
Companies, particularly large ones, must change their mindsets. They must create new structures to fast-track exciting ideas, and they must be ready to fail along the way because the long-term benefits of unearthing a great area for innovation will typically outweigh the odd unsuccessful project.”

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