The last few years (during the crisis), quite a few companies scaled back on innovation initiatives — and an argument heard was that innovation projects was a luxury good for good times. Preaching (as I was doing) that the opposite is in fact true, was hard in the face of cost control, downscaling, etc. So it has been very encouraging to see how the findings in the big CEO Study survey from IBM is resonating with my clients and students:
According to the IBM survey (http://www.ibm.com/ceostudy) of more than 1.500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, chief executives believe that — more than rigour, management discipline, integrity or even vision — successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity.
Global complexity is the foremost issue confronting enterprises. Less than half of global CEOs believe their enterprises are adequately prepared to handle a highly volatile, increasingly complex business environment. CEOs are confronted with massive shifts – new government regulations, changes in global economic power centers, accelerated industry transformation, growing volumes of data, rapidly evolving customer preferences – that, according to the study, can be overcome by instilling “creativity” throughout an organisation.
The CEOs see a large gap between the level of complexity coming at them and their confidence that their enterprises are equipped to deal with it. A world of increasing complexity will give rise to a new generation of leaders that make creativity the path forward for successful enterprises.
More than 60 percent of CEOs believe industry transformation is the top factor contributing to uncertainty, and the finding indicates a need to discover innovative ways of managing an organisation’s structure, finances, people and strategy. The CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future.
See the full survey here: http://www.ibm.com/ceostudy