Market Gravity recently carried out research with leading UK corporates to understand the importance of innovation for their organisation and whether their ambition was reflected in how they developed the skills of their people.

Innovation is almost universally recognised by senior managers as being vital to their organisations future growth prospects.

Gideon Hyde, Director at Market Gravity commented: “It’s become something of a corporate mantra for companies to mention their “innovation” credentials at every opportunity, whether to city analysts, shareholders, employees or customers.”

For some organisations, innovation titles are almost as prevalent as those of the ubiquitous Vice-President, and it’s not uncommon to find Chief Innovation Officers at the heart of a company’s new initiatives roadmap.

The MG Training Survey looked to determine how well organisations equip their employees with the specific innovation skills and tools to effectively innovate within a corporate environment.

The research findings suggest that there is a fundamental mismatch between a company’s ambitions to drive growth through innovation and the support provided to employees to be more “innovative”.

Research findings:
• Almost all managers believe that innovation is of significant importance for their organisations (94% of respondents said Innovation was either Important or Very Important)
• For the majority of managers, innovation is seen as being of significance to their day-to-day roles (87% of respondents said that Innovation was either Important or Very important)
• Yet most organisations do not provide them with any specific innovation training (78% do not provide innovation training)
• Innovation training, when it is provided, is usually at the behest of directors and senior managers on an ad hoc basis within the business lines and not through formal channels (67% of innovation training is decided upon by Directors/Senior Managers; 22% via HR)
• The average annual budget per employee for all their training and development needs is £850, suggesting that investment in developing an individuals’ specific Innovation capabilities is negligible

Gideon Hyde, concluded: “If corporates really do want innovation to drive their business growth then specific innovation capability and skills development, alongside a wider programme that develops a corporate wide culture of innovation, should be a core part of a corporates training agenda, at least as important as the usual functional training programmes provided by HR/Training departments.”