Why Organisations Struggle Despite Investing In Innovation

Investing In Innovation

Discover why organisations are struggling to transform despite investing in innovation. Find your new innovation strategy in this guide by Studio Zao.

The world is changing faster and becoming more unpredictable than ever. Accelerated adoption of emerging technologies like AI and automation, disrupted markets and challenging economic conditions continue to add fuel to fire.

When faced with new and unprecedented challenges the easiest option may seem to be to recoil into survival mode. But, failing to innovate could force your business into further decline, especially during times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies see the best results when they rise and adapt to emerging challenges.

Continue reading to discover why organisations struggle to successfully transform their businesses despite efforts to invest in corporate innovation. We’ll also explore how you can effectively tackle this problem by building a culture of intrapreneurship.

Why Organisations Fail With Transformation Despite Investing In Innovation

According to Accenture, leaders are responding to current challenges by increasing innovation investments to the tune of 1.8x over the next five years across their entire portfolio of businesses. 

But is spending more on corporate innovation the way forward? 

In fact, 57% of businesses that made significant investments in innovation have underperformed against industry peers when it comes to growth or market value.

Very often, transformation and innovation investments are not leveraged wisely because organisations struggle to build the requisite internal capabilities and culture.

Consequently, transformations often fail because organisations struggle to develop, activate and incentivise entrepreneurial talent. 

Successful transformation and change require organisations to be able to identify, empower and unleash the potential of their internal talent within an enabling environment while measuring the impact, aligned to their key business goals. Not being able to create the workforce fit for the future spells doom on most innovation efforts.

What Does a Workforce Fit for the Future Look Like?

Entrepreneurial talent is a key feature of any modern workforce. According to a study by Accenture, 50% of senior executives attribute creativity and entrepreneurial talent to their company’s success in today’s increasingly complex world. 

Building a workforce fit for the future and equipped with entrepreneurial skill sets helps companies overcome uncertainty. While many organisations need entrepreneurial employees, 55% of executives believe their current workforce is not fit for the new world. 

When examining your current workforce, you should look for employees with entrepreneurial traits like:

  • Strong Communication & High Social Awareness. Sharing and presenting innovative ideas with other people clearly and with ease.
  • Creativity. Solving organisational problems with unique solutions and creatively transforming existing ideas or products into something better.
  • The Ability to Deal with Ambiguity. Facilitating resolute decision-making that drives project and long-term company success.
  • Determination & a Resilient Growth Mindset. Allowing for focused development and control as an organisation grows even through difficult and seemingly overwhelming challenges.
  • Problem-Solving and Critical-Thinking Skills. Independently and rationally making decisions and creating practical concepts to build a successful venture.

  • Risk. Effectively and confidently managing high-risk situations.

The Problem Organisations Face When Developing Entrepreneurial Culture and Corporate Innovation

Research from KPMG shows that executives consider the lack of strategic alignment to be one of the greatest challenges for effective innovation while almost half of all companies consider cultural issues as the biggest obstacle. 

Studies also show that agreeing strategic goals and innovation imperatives should be an essential part of your organisation’s transformation agenda. A Global Innovation 1000 Booz & Co. study found that organisations with both highly-aligned business strategies and an innovative corporate culture enjoy 30% higher growth on their enterprise’s value. 

Transformational innovation often fails when organisations struggle to properly develop, activate, and incentivise entrepreneurial talent within their internal working environment. To successfully transform, executive leaders need to unleash the potential of their ‘Intrapreneurs’ through fostering a culture of innovation that aligns to key business objectives. 

Cultivating an environment that enables innovation presents organisational leaders with an opportunity to harness internal entrepreneurship and set their sights on new ventures.

Build an Innovative Corporate Culture with Transformational Initiatives

Here at Studio Zao, we believe that Intrapreneurs are critical for the success of corporate innovation and development of transformational initiatives. 

Intrapreneurs are the entrepreneurial talent within organisations who deploy their creative problem-solving skills to capitalise on value-generating opportunities. Successful intrapreneurs turn ambitious ideas into scalable solutions or market propositions which contribute to their company’s profitability.

How to launch an intrapreneurial initiative?

Get our Intrapreneurship Guide and download our toolkit with tips, tools and online resources on intrapreneurship.

We’ve gathered our learnings from upskilling 2000+ Intrapreneurs and compressed them into 6 lessons valuable to both; senior leaders and innovators.

Investing In Innovation

A 3-Stage Journey to Intrapreneurship-Driven Transformation

We’ve designed a 3-stage journey that empowers employees and delivers intrapreneurial skills from existing talent pools. This journey allows companies to foster intrapreneurship by aligning, empowering and embedding innovation throughout their company culture.


Before you can create an innovation roadmap tailored specifically to your organisation, you’ll need to establish a clear understanding of where your company is headed. 

This enables you to gain insights into your current situation, identify gaps in your organisation’s intrapreneurial capabilities and create the foundation of your innovation roadmap. Your roadmap will outline all of your long and short-term goals supported by a measurement framework to track progress.

During this stage, we work closely with the leaders and decision-makers to align your strategic goals with innovation imperatives and intrapreneurial capabilities. Having a structured portfolio of innovation opportunities at your fingertips provides a birds-eye view of the resources needed.

Most recently, we designed an executive-level innovation leadership programme to help the global executive team of Sony Music Entertainment learn and implement strategic methods to create an innovation thesis for experimentation while fostering Intrapreneurship.

Investing in innovation


The second stage involves empowering and partnering with intrapreneurs to effectively develop innovation strategies that achieve valuable transformation. To truly empower employees, you need to channel the existing intrapreneurial capabilities while also uncovering opportunities to innovate.

Continually upskilling intrapreneurs is a key part of this process. Unleashing intrapreneurial leadership at all levels of your organisation creates continual learning and development opportunities for your team. 

Our approach helps you create and execute innovation acceleration programmes so intrapreneurs in your organisation can ideate, test and experiment with new propositions. Yet, it’s important these creative solutions are aligned to your innovation strategies. 

From ideation to scaling, our innovation coaching is designed to help intrapreneurs de-risk and maximise returns to achieve successful transformation. We worked with Pentland Group to create a venture building innovation programme by identifying 12 innovation challenges. To address the challenges, we designed and delivered a bespoke venture ideation sprint and provided dedicated venture coaching to streamline their innovation development pipeline. Find out more about our work with Pentlands Group in our project case study.

Investing in innovation


The final stage involves embedding intrapreneurship into the DNA of your organisation, so you can continue scaling and sustaining intrapreneurial capabilities into the future.

Through our governance advisory approach, we help organisations implement best practice decision-making and control structures for funding and resource-allocation. Efficient planning is essential for making sure internal environments encourage intrapreneurial activities.

Our measurement advisory strategies coincide to deliver suitable frameworks and tools that monitor, track and measure the intrapreneurial activities and capabilities of your organisation. This allows you to better quantify the progress, impact and value of corporate innovation while creating a culture that supports, incentivises and rewards intrapreneurial behaviours.

During this step of the journey, we create and instil pro-innovation attitudes that are strategically aligned with your company’s transformation roadmap. With a robust organisational structure, controlled ROI measurement, and powerful decision-making mechanisms, we’ll give you a helping hand to drive your company’s innovation endeavours.

Investing in innovation

Internal Innovation Summit Is Intrapreneurship the skill of the future? How can HR help build models of success? Forget moonshot labs — make every employee an intrapreneur Intrapreneurship: Inside Hustles A Chat With Davide Turi, Co-Founder at Innovation Studio: Studio Zao Innovating in the wake of crisis - Doing more with less The Intrapreneurship Challenge Powered by Studio Zao How to Drive Transformation through Intrapreneurship. The I.M.P.A.C.T. Framework Intrapreneurship and Ambidextrous Leadership to Drive Your Core Business.001lr Innovation Portfolios And Experimentation for Corporate Innovation Studio Zao

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