“You can never fall back into the comfort zone and think that you will continue to be successful, as the things that made you successful in the past are not necessarily the things that are going to make you successful going forward,” observes one CEO.
Escaping this inertia requires the CEO to instill the urgency of disruption throughout the organization. “People think they have two to three years to prepare for this, but disruption is here and now,” a CEO respondent warned.
A large majority of CEOs in all regions say that their companies set the expectation that innovation is part of every employee’s job. A significantly higher percentage of CEOs in the Americas (89%) and Asia Pacific (81%) assert this than their EMEA (68%) counterparts.
2. Bring the outside in to change ways of thinking
Changing how an organization perceives the threat of disruption and seizes on innovation opportunities can’t be achieved in isolation. Leaders and teams must get out of their comfort zones and interact with outside innovators to recognize their company’s culture gaps and identify the new attributes that need to be cultivated inside the organization.
The CEOs in our study describe a variety of initiatives—from high-impact interactions to long-term relationships—to promote a culture change by bringing the outside in. Some CEOs put their executive teams through innovation workshops. Others lead tours of Silicon Valley and arrange meetings with venture capitalists. Many maintain structured relationships with university incubators and external innovation hubs. “It is an ongoing effort to re-educate our executives and our leaders across the board, in terms of how they think,” says one of our study participants.