Smart Manufacturing / Leadership Skills

5 reasons companies fail to innovate

By Bob Niemiec, Twisthink, for Smart Industry

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In 2009, Michael Mandel, a chief economist for Business Week, wrote a cover story that included a statistic that would haunt U.S. industry for a decade. His research during a three-year, pre-recession period (2006-2008) revealed that only nine percent of public and private companies were engaged in either product or service innovation of any kind.

Nine percent.

A decade later, we haven’t sufficiently moved the needle. Imagine if that nine percent statistic was improved six times over. Phenomenal, right? But consider that nearly 50 percent of companies would still be disengaged when it comes to innovation.

So what’s wrong? Why aren’t more companies innovating?

The answers are unique and nuanced for each individual company, often pointing to multiple reasons for inaction. That said, five issues continually come into play on why leaders, especially those in the industrial-manufacturing space, fail to pursue innovation despite knowing that their businesses need it.

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