Welcome to the Era of Hyper-Innovation
At the end of 2020, Citrix conducted a survey to measure how the corporate world was responding technologically to the sudden challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that the “rupture of the corporate landscape cemented business leaders’ expectations of a bright, tech-enable future of work.” They have hence labeled this next phase of corporate collaboration, powered by a significant increase in the adoption of new tools amongst the workforce, as “The Era of Hyper-Innovation.” In fact, the paradigm shift occurred faster than anyone could have anticipated. Within 6 months of the start of the first global lockdowns, business leaders overwhelmingly (88%) claimed that rollouts of new tools had already vastly improved their ability to collaborate.
The buy-in from the industry leaders is undeniable. Companies have attributed an average of 45% of their growth in the last fiscal year to innovation of their products, services, working environments, and new technology tools. Research has shown that every 1% increase in spending on innovation leads to a 1.95% increase in overall revenue. With these numbers, it is no wonder that 4 out 5 business leaders are committed to bringing their companies into a hyper-innovation phase by investing in “tech-powered hybrid working.” 49% of companies surveyed have increased their investments in innovative technologies for this next phase of work.
So when it comes to innovation, where do most companies rank themselves? The vast majority of business leaders believe their companies are “moderately innovative” or “newly-innovative,” while the top tier (32%) label their organizations as “hyper-innovative.” When we speak of hyper-innovative companies, we are describing organizations where innovation is at the core of the mission and coming up with new ideas is a fundamental part of what they do.
Some industries had to completely reshape the ways they looked at innovation. The retail sector, for instance, beset by challenges they had never tackled, were forced to relook at the fundamental ways they did business with their customers. Because of this demand to keep up with both customers and competitors, Retail business now sits at the top of industries that consider themselves innovative. 83% of retail business leaders give their employees a high level of autonomy to attack problems and solutions. Compare this to industries like Professional Services with 68%, who were not under such heavy pressure to innovate. The Retail sector was not alone, and similar increases to innovation were found in Financial Services, Manufacturing, and Healthcare.
“Crisis-driven adaptation has not just transformed organizations, but has also altered the mindset of the employee,” says Amy Haworth, Senior Director of Employee Experience at Citrix. Collaboration in the workplace is more than just an investment in tools. Business leaders were surveyed about how they were approaching hybrid work. Across all sectors, companies have innovated not just in the tools and technology infrastructure, but in new ways of working and employee well-being practices. While not uniform across all industries, there were also some significant increases in spending on innovative recruiting techniques and R&D investments, particularly in the Healthcare vertical.
And here is where it all comes together. The companies who identified as more innovative report much higher levels of collaboration among their employees. 44% of hyper-innovative companies saw collaboration improvement, while only 22% of organizations that are newly-innovative reported any increase.
The next phase of the post-pandemic economy is already in place. With 32% of organizations already adopting a hyper-innovation mindset, many are sure to follow. 84% of organizations stated they will experiment with radical new ways of working in the future and 70% said they will invest more money in new tech tools, but the longer they wait, the further they will fall behind their competition. Creating an innovative and collaborative workplace, built with hybrid work in mind, will be critical to acquiring and keeping talent in a highly competitive job market. Optimism runs high though, and those Hyper-Innovators will see their stocks on the rise.