Our innovation problem

Dr. Adam Tacy PhD, MBA avatar
What we’re thinking

Growth is stagnating, risking a “tepid twenties”* and our innovation activities – the engine of growth – are misfiring**. The root cause is our traditional value-in-exchange model of value, which has several blindspots we are now hitting.

It’s time to:

  • stop treating innovation as a bolt-on activity
  • improve our definition of innovation away from simply “adding/creating value” – what does that even mean?
  • find a way to systematically hunt for innovation

In short, it’s time for the progress economy and its insights on innovation.

*Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Chief, “IMF Georgieva Global Growth / AI”, April 2024

**McKinsey

Introduction – what is the innovation problem?

A study by PWC (2019) found that “64% of executives saw innovation and operational effectiveness as equally important to the success of [their] company”.

Everybody is doing innovation, yet…

93% of executives indicate that organic growth through innovation will drive the greater part of their revenue growth

PWC “Breakthrough innovation and growth”, 2013

94% of executives are unhappy with the results.

94% of executives are unhappy with the results.

94% of executives are unsatisfied with innovation performance


Don’t disrupt the flow of exchange.

Kodak made this mistake – the story of their failure is far from the myth of their business model being disrupted by digital technology. Did you know they created one of the first digital cameras in 1975, or that they acquired a photosharing site, Ofoto, in 2001?

Clearly they could see the digital disruption. Yet, as Anthony points out in “Kodak’s Downfall Wasn’t About Technology” (HBR, July 2016), “Where they failed was in realizing that online photo sharing was the new business”.

Kodak couldn’t bring themselves to disrupt the healthy business model they had of exchanging physical film for cash.

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