At the recent Tech & Innovation Leaders summit for professional services something fundamental occurred to me during a session where we were live polling the senior audience of around 100 leaders. The audience was spread across law, accounting, property, consulting and in-house in somewhat of a unique gathering that looks beyond an insular sector approach towards broader emerging themes. The disconnect that started to emerge was around what firms stated as their goals for innovation compared to what they were actually doing. Incidentally, the wider areas that emerged as clear themes from the summit were around the way in which firms were starting to get to grips with the power of data (see related article here), the processes they were using and the cultural challenges. For a summary of the conference themes that emerged see here.

In this article I want to explore what I think is a potential disconnect which could impact on both firms’ clients and employee perceptions creating real financial risk. This article builds on another piece I have written on a recent innovation benchmark study which you can also read here. One of the key findings from that study was that very few firms are driving material revenue increases from their innovation initiatives, driven by a great many factors including many firms not having the right processes, investment or culture and because many are focusing on incremental innovation at a time when clients are expecting more.

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