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2022 Innovation Strategy: The Top Concerns, Opportunities & Priorities for Innovators

As 2022 approaches, innovation professionals sense an uphill battle to building robust pipelines. Our research reveals some unexpected drivers of this new reality.
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2022 Innovation Strategy: The Top Concerns, Opportunities & Priorities for Innovators

Innovators have always been the gatekeepers of a brand’s longevity, and that onus has intensified during a global pandemic. Across industries, innovation has moved to the center of most short- and long-term growth strategies for companies.

Innovation insights from innovators, for innovators

To learn more about what’s driving this renewed focus on innovation and its implications to team workflows and pipeline success, we surveyed innovators across industries to understand the organizational realities they face as they look to the new year (and what lies beyond that).

Our survey results uncovered an imbalance between the pressure placed on innovation success and the team structures, processes, and even the absence of these tools expected to execute this strategy. Based on our findings, there may be just as many threats to the pipeline internally as there are in the marketplace. 

How does your experience compare to your innovation peers?

Among 140 innovation decision-makers that are Director-level and above at their organizations:

  • Over half (57%) aren’t extremely confident that their organization knows how to make strong, timely decisions on which ideas to pilot and launch;
  • 84% believe their organization can greatly benefit from improving their current innovation processes;
  • 59% are not sure they have the right people with the right skills needed to deliver high-quality innovation;
  • Only 9% are confident their innovation pipeline can withstand internal and external pressures over the next 12 months.

If you see yourself in this data, we have some tips and insights to help you better prepare for 2022. If you don’t, consider this report a deep dive into the state of your competitors’ worlds.

What you’ll learn:

  • Drivers behind the fluctuating confidence innovators have in their pipelines for the upcoming year,
  • The various internal roadblocks stopping an effective and efficient iterative ideation lifecycle,
  • Gaps that lay between high-level company strategies and a deeper understanding of both the consumer and the market landscape,
  • Recommendations from our experts on enabling consumer-centered decisions for your brand’s future, and more!

About the authors

Colleen Teresi
Colleen Teresi is a lifelong creative problem solver and radical thinker with a passion for uncovering and developing consumer-centric opportunities. Her 15+ year career in growth strategy and innovation spans the nonprofit sector, product management, research and development, and strategic consulting roles. When she’s not busy helping clients, she tries to learn as much as humanly possible from everyone around her. Colleen holds a Masters of Arts Management (MAM) from Carnegie Mellon University.

Read more by Colleen Teresi
Elizabeth Real
Elizabeth is the head of Material’s Connections Division, exploring innovative ways to deliver the company’s extensive range of services to answer our clients’ toughest challenges. She also leads Material’s Innovation practice. Elizabeth joined Material in 2020, with over 20 years of experience in creating growth with soul through innovation and customer strategy. Over her tenure with Material, Elizabeth has delivered $20 billion dollars of value through new product innovation and cultural transformation for clients including Google, Citi, Pfizer, and Disney. Before Material, Elizabeth was the CEO, Europe, for ?What If! Innovation, creating new experiences, products, and whole new business models for everyone from hospitality leaders to tech unicorns to bio-tech start-ups.

Read more by Elizabeth Real
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