Harvard Business Manager

“In the best case, a survey of innovation could itself elicit innovation.” Dr. Kemal Malik, Member of the Board for Innovation, Bayer AG.


As Schumpeter postulated, innovation in processes, products and business models is always intertwined with creative destruction. Innovation thrives on risk. We are surrounded by people talking about innovation and change. Yet when it becomes crucial to transform ideas and concepts into innovation, endless reasons emerge to trample down their feasibility and potential. As always, everyone – especially a corporation – finds it hard to leave the comfort zone.


Many industries resist this phenomenon. Year-on-year, they undertake incremental, clearly defined evolution processes to achieve marginal advances in products and buying impulses. Yet, the fight for 5% less consumption or 2% more content quickly shifts the perspective away from the essential fact: taking a real lead can only come from fundamental change – because hiding behind standard stuff means that followers will not be far behind.


Many DAX 30 corporations overestimate their innovativeness. Our study of the DAX 30 corporations underscores the highly strategic significance of innovation. Only two companies are perceived as top innovators.