Innovation, Agility, and Openness


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For some, the period between March 2020 and March 2021 may have been a time in which innovation accelerated. But for other companies, there have been challenges with the supply chain; increased competition with newer entrants like Airbnb and Robinhood; and a shifting emphasis on more immediate incremental improvements, versus longer-range projects.

Spending a year or more in “fast twitch” responsive mode, versus planning for future growth, may have created an innovation deficit for these companies.

This set of two mini-reports is a continuation of our CxOs & Innovation series from 2020. This first mini-report includes data from a survey fielded in March and April 2021, which received 244 qualified responses. We also conducted qualitative interviews with innovation, product development, R&D, and technology leaders at organizations like Intel, Wayfair, Comcast NBCUniversal, Shell, and HCA Healthcare. The objective: to be helpful to C-suite leaders and professionals responsible for driving innovation in large organizations as we enter a new era.

This research project was produced by Innovation Leader and sponsored by KPMG LLP.


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KPMG Perspectives

  • The Innovation Equation: Balancing Inside-Out and Outside-In

  • Democratizing Data: How Organizations Can Eliminate Silos

Sample Data from the Report


Q42019SampleData KPMG2021Data-boats

Table of Contents

About this Project 4

Executive Summary 5

The Continuing Impact of COVID-19 on Innovation 6

Defining Terms 9

Comments: The Continuing Impact of COVID-19 7

 Innovator Perspective: Edgewell Personal Care 10

Innovator Perspective: Capital One 11

How Agile is Your Organization? 12

Comments: What Fosters Agility 13

Comments: What Blocks Agility 15

Innovator Perspective: W.L. Gore 18

Innovator Perspective: Intel 19

Openness to Outside Ideas and Trends 20

KPMG Insight: The Innovation Equation 21

Investment in Internal vs. External Innovation 23

Comments: How We Decide on Internal vs. External Innovation 24

Innovator Perspective: Wayfair 27

Innovator Perspective: Comcast NBCUniversal 28

Innovation Focus: Today vs. ‘In an Ideal World’ 29

Key Questions: Emerging from the Pandemic Era 30

Key Questions: Where Should Innovation Come From? 31

Key Questions: Organizational Agility 32

KPMG Insight: Democratizing Data 33

Innovator Perspective: HCA Healthcare 35

Innovator Perspective: Shell 36

About the Respondents 37

About KPMG 39

About Innovation Leader 40