Patty Sung, Senior Principal and Innovation Leader in Mercer’s Global Digital Innovation Hub
Innovation is top of mind for most C-suite executives and directors of companies — and for good reason. According to a study by Credit Suisse, the average life span of an S&P 500 company is now less than 20 years, compared to 60 years in the 1950s. Additionally, Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends survey found that 73 percent of executives predict significant industry disruption in the next three years, up sharply from 26 percent in 2018. In many industries, continued innovation is critical to a company’s ability to survive and thrive.
In the recent past, having a dedicated, centralized innovation team seemed like the obvious answer to this corporate imperative, and companies made the move to create such teams. The number of corporate innovation centers has grown from 300 to 580 from 2015 to 2017. Unfortunately, the success of these innovation centers has been mixed. Centers that tend to lag in performance usually have unclear strategic goals, suboptimal setup and vaguely defined success metrics.