Innovation Study 2021: Beyond the buzzword [REPORT]

Hype surrounding innovation often obscures the focused, multifaceted efforts that make breakthroughs possible. We look beyond press releases and buzzwords to understand what drives the successful corporate innovation programs that are recreating the enterprise.

Innovation has an image problem. The “i-word” is invoked so often, and by so many, that it has come to mean at once everything, and as a result, nothing at all.

Yet, with Deloitte’s inaugural Innovation Study, we hope to clarify what this business-critical concept means to business and technology leaders working in the trenches today. To this end, Deloitte surveyed and interviewed more than 400 business, technology, and innovation leaders across six industries in the United States (figure 1) on the topic of innovation, and how they are moving beyond the buzzword toward a new and improved understanding of the state of corporate innovation programs. There are many studies out today that examine innovation through the lens of catchy models and philosophies. We take a different approach. We look under the hood to understand the investments, structure, operations, and performance of innovation programs and identify what leading companies are doing differently.

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