How leading companies are revolutionizing growth strategies through innovation, M&A, and AI, according to BCG’s 2023 global survey about the Global Top 50 Innovators.
Once again, we witness the remarkable achievements of the most forward-thinking companies, as they generate increased returns for their shareholders and establish resilience and competitive advantages through innovation. BCG’s global survey for 2023 emphasizes the benefits of innovation and highlights how leading companies are surpassing their counterparts by leveraging rapidly growing tools such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), portfolio planning, and artificial intelligence (AI).
According to our 2023 survey, the importance of innovation has reached a near-record high, with 79% of companies ranking it among their top three priorities. This figure marks an increase from 75% in 2022. Moreover, over 40% of companies anticipate a significant increase in their innovation spending this year, which represents a remarkable 16 percentage point jump compared to the last economic downturn in 2009.
However, a distinctive group of companies is taking innovation to new heights by making it the central focus of their future growth strategies. While most companies plan to allocate more resources to incremental innovations closely related to their core operations, this select group of innovation-driven companies is allocating a full one-third of their spending toward developing breakthrough innovations.
These companies employ a diverse range of strategic tools to bolster their innovation platforms and practices. They adopt a more assertive approach to M&A, actively seeking out innovative technologies, processes, and talented individuals with a proven ability to innovate. They also embrace ecosystem collaboration, engaging with external partners—including competitors—for joint innovative ventures. Their emphasis on digital innovation is evident through their preference for new digital products, agile teaming, and continuous improvement of customer and marketing insights. They harness the power of AI to drive innovation and regularly assess the performance of their innovation units or vehicles, reallocating resources to centers of success. Recognizing the significance of effective portfolio governance and management, particularly regarding data transparency, they prioritize these aspects to maximize their impact.
Find the full study here.