Deloitte Collaborates With Fast Company on Survey: Companies Are Investing More in Innovation Despite Economic Uncertainty

The inaugural survey offers unique insights into how leading companies are strategically propelling innovation to shape the future and catalyze change in the coming years — even in the face of challenging market conditions.

NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Deloitte’s collaboration with Fast Company on its “Survey of Innovation Excellence,” polling more than 200 named to the media brand’s list of the world’s most innovative companies, shows that half (54%) will increase their investments in innovation in 2024. As economic shadows lengthen and marketplace landscapes rapidly change, this insight is one of many throughout the survey that reveals an unwavering commitment to advance innovation.

Building agility to power experimentation

The companies committed to investing in innovation this year plan to make substantial outlays, the survey found, generally ranging from 3% to 15% of revenue. Those prioritizing innovation are using different strategies to foster a culture of dynamic ideation and effective experimentation. Some of the more significant approaches include:

  • In-house R&D (75%)
  • Expanding AI capabilities (44%)
  • Conducting hackathons and pitch contests (48%)
  • Recruiting new talent (57%)

Many companies are also eager for unexpected breakthroughs and revolutionary advancements, with 71% saying they are enthusiastic about or willing to adopt new technologies. However, another one-third are cautious or lack the budget, awareness, or risk aptitude to do so.

Despite the clear advantages of adopting a diverse range of strategies for advancing innovation, the survey also acknowledges the inherent challenges that companies face in implementing these approaches. The survey suggests, among other things, that investing in innovation goes beyond merely increasing financial allocations in order to contribute to sustainable growth and meaningful advancements. Companies should also prioritize recruiting and talent initiatives and develop strategic ecosystem partnerships (42% surveyed seeking to add or expand) — all of which are complex challenges for companies. The survey highlights that while the ambition to innovate is high, the journey remains long, with one such example showcasing that only 25% of companies surveyed have an innovation expert on their leadership team, and nearly half say they lack the talent and resources required for sustained progress.

“In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, innovation transcends ideas or isolated initiatives — it requires a fundamental shift in organizational paradigms. This journey of transformation requires a deep and unwavering commitment. Together with our clients, we are reimagining the boundaries of what’s possible. By embedding innovation within organizational culture, we are fostering creativity and empowering teams to experiment with new ideas and approaches,” said Jason Girzadas, chief executive officer, Deloitte US.

Diverse perspectives catalyze breakthroughs

Many companies see having a diverse set of perspectives — whether in-house talent or through partnering with outside organizations — as critical to successful innovation. A large majority (83%) are actively recruiting diverse voices, saying it helps attract talent (58%), enables unconventional thinking (56%), and drives greater productivity (32%).

Companies also recognize the value in collaboration, with nearly half expanding their innovation ecosystem, and 34% pursuing partnerships with academia. But protecting IP is a concern — 40% of those surveyed said so — which can make effective collaboration more difficult.

“In this new era of convergence, standing still is a fast way to move backward. By actively nurturing ecosystems fueled by the cross-pollination of different ideas and experiences amongst a vast external network, including a variety of public and private industry relationships, leaders can foster continuous evolution through open innovation that’s essential to gaining sustained, competitive advantage,” said Deborah Golden, Deloitte US chief innovation officer.

Measuring success

The survey also found that most (60%) measure innovation success by revenue. However, additional “pre-monetary” metrics better enable a long-term, balanced view of innovation. For example, 45% of companies measure innovation through new products and services launched, providing a more comprehensive view. Other non-financial measures like brand value, pipeline depth, and customer engagement indicate future readiness and agility. The survey sheds light on the multi-faceted nature of innovation and the value of companies adopting a variety of metrics relevant to changing business environments.

“In the pursuit of rapid success, it’s important to recognize that excessive structure can hinder the very innovation and speed organizations strive to achieve. Allowing for an environment that supports ideation, rapid development and failure, can be just as important as managing innovation spend as a portfolio to allow teams agency to be their best,” said Ranjit Bawa, Deloitte US chief strategy & technology officer.

Insights that spur change

The collaboration between Deloitte and Fast Company sets the stage for a unique exploration into the evolving landscape of innovation. Harnessing the power of diverse perspectives in the marketplace, we aim to uncover new insights and forge strategies that anticipate and shape future market trends, empowering organizations to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving business landscape.    

“Fast Company is excited to collaborate with Deloitte on the Most Innovative Companies Survey of Innovation Excellence. Deloitte’s experience helping clients build resilience and innovation readiness, coupled with analytical acumen, brought depth to our analysis of the results. Deloitte and Fast Company share a passion for forward-thinking approaches to innovation that inspire organizations of all sizes,” said Stephanie Mehta, CEO and chief content officer of Mansueto Ventures, Fast Company’s publisher.

The survey is important reading for companies looking to maintain an innovative edge in 2024 and beyond. To download the full report, visit

Connect with us on Twitter at @Deloitte or on LinkedIn.  

Research methodology
To ensure a cross-industry, size-agnostic, and globally relevant understanding of innovation excellence, Fast Company, in collaboration with Deloitte, sent a survey to companies named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list in 2020-2023, with up to 248 responding to the survey, depending on the question.

Leaders from companies across geographies were surveyed, with the majority of respondents from the United States (69%) and Europe (13%), and additional respondents from Asia Pacific, Canada, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Respondents represented businesses and public sector companies across industries.

The survey asked CEOs, presidents, chief innovation officers, chief strategist/chief strategy officer, and other C-suite roles related to innovation (e.g., product, growth, technology, operations) about a variety of topics related to innovation and innovation functions. The majority of respondents were CEOs (59%), highlighting the elevated role these leaders play in driving the innovation agenda.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 8,500 U.S.-based private companies. At Deloitte, we strive to live our purpose of making an impact that matters by creating trust and confidence in a more equitable society. We leverage our unique blend of business acumen, command of technology, and strategic technology alliances to advise our clients across industries as they build their future. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Bringing more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 457,000 people worldwide connect for impact at

About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Fast Company has produced a review of the Most Innovative Companies for 16 years through an extensive editorial process and its lists have foretold major business and societal trends, including the rise of Generative AI, the proliferation of direct-to-consumer brands, and the growth of inclusive healthcare. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the “Deloitte” name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see to learn more about our global network of member firms.

SOURCE Deloitte

Originally published at
Images courtesy of