U.S. Executives Believe Innovation Will Drive Growth

U.S. executives believe innovation will drive growth, yet most pioneers are based outside the U.S.; strategy, collaboration and a structured approach are keys to innovation success, says PwC
business people in a series with a casual guy doing the headstand - stand out from the crowd
Global Innovation Survey 2013

PwC US released U.S. findings of Breakthrough Innovation and Growth, a global survey which explores the huge shifts in how companies approach innovation.  As more companies around the world push the traditional boundaries of innovation, PwC found U.S. companies are tracking with the shift in innovation strategy, yet most pioneers in the study are not U.S. companies.

Cover Page - What sets breakthrough innovators apart PwC's Global Innovation Survey 2013According to the survey, 82 percent of the most aggressive innovators surveyed were based outside the U.S. Among top innovators, 79 percent agree their company has a well-defined innovation strategy compared with 67 percent of U.S. companies. PwC found that top innovators plan to grow by more than 60 percent over the next five years and create more than $250 billion in new revenue.

“If most U.S. executives believe innovation will drive growth for their companies—and they do—then looking globally at what the most innovative companies are doing matters,” said Rob Shelton, Advisory managing director and PwC’s global innovation strategy leader. “A transformation is under way and growth is at the top of the agenda at companies across industries and around the globe.”

Half of U.S. executives interviewed said their greatest concern about innovation is developing the right strategies for the growth they need to achieve. Nearly two-thirds (58 percent) of U.S. executives say that taking innovative ideas to market quickly and in a scalable way is an ongoing challenge.

“Designing an innovation operating model involves getting leadership involvement, finding the right talent, working with your ecosystem of collaborators, and of course, putting the metrics and motivators in place to drive the right actions,” said PwC’s Shelton.

The study also reported that U.S. companies are often recognized as being collaborative, yet top innovators plan to collaborate more with a more diverse set of stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, strategic partners, academics and even competitors, over the next three years than the U.S. average.

“Collaboration with external partners is one of the most important elements of successful innovation today. Partnership is a core competency of innovation leaders. There are a billion IQ points outside of your organization-- tapping into those helps create better, faster, and cheaper innovations,” added Shelton. “Repeatedly and rapidly commercializing innovative concepts and then scaling them to their full business potential requires standardization and industrialization of the innovation processes. Leaders are doing just that.  If you’re not seeing significant growth from innovation, it’s time to identify what’s missing and how you can ensure all of the pieces that you need are in place.”

PwC surveyed nearly 2000 executives from more than 25 countries and 30 sectors to discover how innovation is driving growth. Three hundred of the respondents were U.S. executives.  To explore the U.S. findings of PwC’s Breakthrough Innovation and Growth survey, visit

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.