RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – In a new report on the current state of business innovation published by the Lenovo Group based on a survey of some 300 senior executives, businesses are reporting understanding that innovation is linked to diversity and a “bottom-up working environment.”

The study requested business executives reveal how they’re thinking about innovation, both that occurred during 2020 with the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, and what happens next, in a post-COVID future.

Key aspects of the survey asked how to satisfy pent-up consumer demand and how to re-establish or further expand growth, as well as improving environmental, social, and governance metrics in their business and industry.

One finding from the report is that nearly 6 in 10 companies say their senior leadership often requests that an innovation is discontinued for being too risky or experimental, and 7 in 10 of those surveyed based in North America report this.

Yet 60% of larger businesses said that the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic and the challenges this posed to their business and to their workforce reported that the crisis catalyzed their efforts, compared to 54% of all surveyed.

The larger the company, the more likely it is to be using innovation to enhance its sustainability work, with nearly half, or 49%, reporting that innovation and environmental sustainability are linked in order to drive overall performance.

“Over the past year, COVID challenged everyone and changed everything – so we responded to the challenge with what we know best: innovation,” said Yuanqing Yang, Lenovo Chairman and CEO in a statement. “Now, on the threshold of the next reality, innovation remains key to unlocking our full potential.”

“For us, innovation is by its nature unpredictable, and is applied in unexpected places – such as revolutionizing hybrid working environments and improving environmental and corporate governance practices,” said Yang.  “Together, a focus on innovation can help us change the world for the better.”