According to executives, the best-performing portfolios that help companies out-
innovate competitors are well aligned with strategy, eectively governed, and focused
on breakthrough innovation.
Companies’ innovation aspirations are high,
but only a minority are outperforming their peers and mastering the portfolio-management activities that are critical to success, according to McKinsey’s latest survey on innovation.
In our previous research on the topic, we
explored the eight key dimensions that underpin successful innovation (and armed
that these eight issues all matter to performance).
Most recently, we focused on the portfolio:
specically, what companies decide to include in their innovation portfolios, how well the
portfolios align with overall company or business-unit strategy, and how those decisions link to overall innovation performance.
While a few elements of portfolio composition are consistent across dierent levels of
innovation performance, several practices distinguish the best innovators—companies where respondents report high overall performance, as well as high margins and growth rates
relative to competitors. According to executives, these companies focus signicantly more than
others on disruptive and breakthrough innovation activities, and they invest more of their
The online survey was in the eld
from July 9 to July 19, 2013, and garnered responses from 1,241 executives representing the full range of regions, industries, company sizes, tenures, and func-tional specialties. To adjust for
dierences in response rates, the
data are weighted by the con-tribution of each respondent’s nation to global GDP.
From November 6 to November 16, 2012, we surveyed 2,586 executives on eight categories of innovation practices that drive high performance. The respondents represented the full range of regions, indus-tries, company sizes, tenures, and functional specialties.
Managing the innovation portfolio to win
McKinsey Global Survey results
J e a n-F r a n ç oi s M a r t i n