Canadian Businesses Embracing Disruptive Practices to Drive Innovation - 2014 GE Global Innovation Barometer

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's business leaders are embracing a "disruption-ready" innovation strategy to meet the demands of an ever changing global business environment, according to the 2014 GE Global Innovation Barometer Report on Canada, released today. The largest global survey of business executives dedicated to innovation (26 countries and 3200 respondents), the survey explores the views of senior executives on innovation and how these perceptions are influencing business decision making. 

In Canada, 69% of executives recognised the need for companies to encourage creative behaviours and disruptive processes in order to be able to innovate successfully. This included partnering with others to advance competitive advantage, the use of data and analytics, and the attraction and retention of new types of talent.

"It's very much a 'figure it out world'," notes Elyse Allan, President and CEO, GE Canada. "Change is everywhere and this year's Barometer shows how leaders are tackling challenges to innovation, making their businesses 'disruption ready', in order to develop new markets and drive growth."

In a clear shift from the uncertainty expressed in last year's survey regarding the value of collaboration, this year's survey shows that collaboration has become more "main stream" with 72% of global executives noting collaboration is "worth the risk" to IP and talent, up from 38% in 2013.  Canadian respondents reported the 2nd highest growth in revenue by country resulting from collaborative innovation activities (+12%).  The study refers to the rise of the global brain, where experts from outside are brought in—as knowledge is shared across industries and geographies. The democratization of technology is enabling a growing new generation of entrepreneurs who need partners to help them scale. In Canada, 61% of respondents now use open source innovation, involving partners such as entrepreneurs, to develop new ideas.

Globally, big data has become more than a buzzword. Seventy percent of global respondents believe that big data is critical to optimize business efficiency; analytics and data science are fields of rapidly growing interest. Canada's response is lower at 47%. And, across the board, only one in four executives feel they are prepared for big data. Or those who are using big data in Canada, 88% see added value to the innovation process, significantly higher than the global average of 69%.

Talent continues to be top of mind for Canadian executives. Seventy-nine percent of global respondents believe talent is a crucial asset for successful innovation---a six-point increase from 2013---but only 32 percent believe that their organization excels at attracting and retaining it, and in Canada only 15% of executives say they are excelling. Data scientists are gaining in influence; as big data grows in importance, businesses that want to harness the power of analytics are increasingly seeking people who can make sense of large swaths of information and use it to guide strategic business decisions. Among those prepared to make the most of big data analytics, 72% of agree that data scientists have a strong influence and authority in their company.

And when it comes to the priorities for government to tackle, Canadian executives are in line with other executives around the world in calling for governments to fight bureaucracy and red tape for companies willing to access funds and incentives allocated to innovation (88%), ensure that business confidentiality and trade secrets are adequately protected (87%), and to better align students curricula with the needs of business (86%).

About the GE Global Innovation Barometer:

The research was commissioned by GE and conducted by Edelman Berland between April 2, 2014 and May 30, 2014. Interviews with 3,200 senior business executives were conducted by telephone across 26 countries. All respondents are VP level or above and directly involved in their company's innovation processes. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed are at the C-suite level. The countries included in the research are: Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA.

Visit the 2014 GE Global Innovation Barometer and Report on Canada.

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SOURCE GE Canada

For further information: Media Contacts: Kim Warburton, GE Canada, Kim.warburton@ge.com, Phone: 416-561-8316; Rahim Ladha, GE Canada, Rahim.Ladha@ge.com, Phone: 647-281-7073