Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Barriers to Innovation

Everyone knows that innovation is the solution to today's competitive business problems. But you can't just tell people to be more creative and successful. Innovation is hard.

So what are the toughest challenges in innovation? Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (the old Cdn Mfrs Association) has the answers. In a recent cross-Canada survey of business leaders, they asked about the major constraints to commercializing innovation today.

Here, courtesy of CME chief economist Jayson Myers, are the barriers to innovation in Canada today.

Finding Customers/Lack of Customer Demand: 42%
Lack of Internal Resources: 28%
Competition: 28%
Availability of skilled personnel: 26%
Product Design: 23%
Prototype Development: 22%
Process Re-engineering and Scale-up: 17%
Corporate Culture: 13%
Financing: 13%
Inadequate Return on Investment: 13%
Technology Constraints: 10%
Other Regulatory Impediments: 9%
Short Product Cycles: 8%
Taxes: 5%
Accessing research: 1%

(% refers to the percentage of companies citing each particular problem.)

I find it interesting how lack of information is not a problem any more (1%). And taxes and regulations and even financing seem to be non-issues.

Obviously, the real constraint on innovation in Canada today is will.

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