CXOs and Innovation

Challenges and opportunities in a time of change

Fiona Grandi

Fiona Grandi

Partner, Consulting Head of Markets and Commercial Line of Business Leader, KPMG US

Colleen Drummond

Colleen Drummond

Head of Innovation Labs, KPMG Ignition, KPMG US

+1 804-399-3858

2020 has been a trying year for corporate innovators. The strategy, research and design, transformation, and digital professionals are responsible for driving the organization in new directions and delivering new growth. While the entire company is working to manage the pressures they are facing today, innovators are making plans for the future, looking for ways to expand the company’s offerings, and uncover new business opportunities. The prospects for big changes and new offerings are immense. But so is the scrutiny.

This series of articles, interviews, and mini-reports can help C-Suite leader and professionals responsible for innovation inside large organizations, understand how the role of the innovation leader is changing in 2020. In order to survive, a company must consider, innovation, transformation, and digital initiative that generate revenue, help reduce costs, and elevate the brand.

This mini-report includes data from a survey fielded in July 2020. Our 165 respondents were largely from North America (55 percent), from companies with more than $1 billion a year in revenue (52 percent), and at the Director level or above (67 percent). We found that 59 percent of respondents said that their team’s mandate had changed this year to include new activities or objectives—including things like fostering diversity and inclusion, redesigning the supply chain, innovating for “the new low-touch reality,” and making workplace modifications.


This mini-report includes data from a survey fielded in September 2020 and a set of qualitative interviews conducted in the same timeframe. We received 211 qualified survey responses, largely from North America (62 percent), at the director level and above (74 percent), and from companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue (59 percent). Encouragingly, we found that quality of alignment between the innovation and R&D groups in large companies and the C-level leaders who oversee them has been either improving (40 percent) or staying the same (45.5 percent of respondents) in 2020.