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What is on the CEO’s innovation agenda?

Innovation is on the agendas of companies all over the world… Global studies suggest that this approach is occupying an increasingly important place in the CEO’s diary every year. A sur...

Son Güncelleme: 01.10.2006

Innovation is on the agendas of companies all over the world… Global studies suggest that this approach is occupying an increasingly important place in the CEO’s diary every year. A survey of the members of the CEO club in Turkey produces similar results. The survey, which was conducted with support from IBM and which covered 145 CEOs, shows that this topic has risen rapidly in Turkey and has an important place on companies’ agendas. Moreover, forecasts for 2007 indicate that interest, and thus investment, in this field will increase.

In order to learn what leading companies and groups in Turkey think about the subject of innovation, we conducted a major survey amongst the members of the CEO Club. 145 members of the CEO club participated in the survey, which was based on the model applied by one of the world’s leading consulting companies.

The study was conducted over the Internet using a questionnaire which only CEOs could access by entering a password and included a lot of questions on the subject of innovation. The Innovation Leaders Survey was conducted within the scope of the Capital and Ekonomist CEO Club, which has approximately 250 members, and you can see the main results in the tables on these pages. But it is worth drawing attention to a number of the findings.

- 55.6 of the CEOs said that they had assumed the leading role when it came to innovation in their own company.
- But innovation is still not well enough established on the CEOs’, and thus their companies’, agendas. Because only 22.5 percent said that the subject ranked among their main strategic priorities.
- Even so, more than two thirds were optimistic about 2007. Because nearly 80 percent said that they were planning to increase investments in innovation.
- 68 percent of the executives said that they were planning to increase investments in R & G next year.

These results from the innovation survey suit the major groups’ agendas. Innovation has an important place on the agenda of the leading holdings and companies in Turkey. It is noticeable that it plays a particularly important role in their plans for 2007. Here are some examples …

Number One For Eczacibaşi

Eczacıbaşı Holding CEO Erdal Karamercan says that, as he is co-chair of the National Innovation Enterprise: “It is clear that innovation has an important place on my agenda.” He explains this agenda as follows:

“The companies of Eczacıbaşı Holding were the pioneers in the application of ‘total quality management’ in Turkey. The Creative and Innovative Inventions at Eczacıbaşı, which we have organized for seven years, evaluates innovative and creative projects, recognises our colleagues who have been successful in innovation, awards them and shares the joy of their success. In addition to all of these things which we have done to date, we are initiating a new approach in order to make innovation into a corporate culture which is managed within the company, its benefits measured and a competitive advantage secured. Our innovation activities are based on an incentive system. We want through the completed processes to raise it to the highest level from the point of view of knowledge and participation and increase their effectiveness. In order to realize this goal, we shall apply this new approach of ours within the holding from November.”

Toyota Pursuing An Innovation Culture
Toyotasa General Manager İbrahim Orhon says: “In Turkey innovation is important in the leading firms and is one of the subjects on which they focus.” Orhon says that Sabancı Holding has also included this subject in its vision. Orhon continues as follows: “This concept has take concrete form within the holding and a comprehensive process has been initiated within its firms to develop an innovation culture. Today we see that many of the firms with which we work have received training in innovation, organized innovation seminars and raised knowledge of innovation through various activities.”

“Innovation is one of the most important foundation stones on which Toyota bases its global success,” says İbrahim Orhon and continues as follows:
“As Toyotasa all of our personnel have received training in innovation and I am pleased to say that the innovation groups we have established have produced concrete results. The topics to which our innovation groups have addressed include, in addition to our vision of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, customer experience and effective field management.”

New Initiatives Coming From Yaşar
Yaşar Holding CEO Hasan Denizkurdu says: “The word innovation has entered the daily conversations of companies and executives but I doubt that it is yet properly understood.” He believes that ‘innovation’ is still regarded as a theory and that minor amendments are presented as innovations.

Hasan Denizkurdu is a member of the National Innovation Initiative, which has been established within TÜSİAD. He says that they are engaged in significant initiatives there and continues as follows:
“We have come to the end of the preparations which have been ongoing for the last year. The aim is to put innovation on companies’ and the government’s agenda. I mean, there will be progress. But there are discussions about resources, how it will be organized, and whether the innovation application model will resemble that in the USA. Considerable preparations have already taken place.”

“The ‘nano paints’ business produced by our DYO are a complete innovation. There will be some important initiatives in nano in relation to automotives and white goods. We are keeping the details secret at the moment. But they will come very soon…”