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THE PROBLEM: Flying Blind

There is no question that innovation is important. Everywhere you turn, people are lauding its benefits. It’s hard to open any popular business magazine and not find an article on innovation. This preoccupation with innovation comes from the belief that it is the key to growth. As Strategy& reported in its 2015 Global Innovation Study, “The results of our survey of 1,757 executives couldn’t be clearer: innovation today is a key driver of organic growth for all companies—regardless of sector or geography.”1 Indeed, the company reports its Innovation 1000 companies (top 1000 R&D spenders) invested $680 billion in R&D last year—up 5 percent from the prior year.

The benefits of innovation don’t stop with companies. Historically ...

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