YPO Global Pulse


The YPO Global Pulse focuses on gathering insights from chief executives around the world on the topics that influence businesses and drive leadership decisions.

YPO is an independent organization with no inherent bias or issue-advocacy agenda. Our Global Pulse survey is statistically relevant across the globe and not focused on a single country, industry or type of business. Because we do not focus on just the largest companies, our survey of chief executives provides perspectives across a wider portion of the global economy.

The 2019 YPO Global Pulse focuses on what’s on the minds of chief executives around the world when asked about innovation and how it impacts their business.

2019 YPO Global Pulse: Innovation as a Business Imperative

YPO Global Pulse Innovation ReportAt its simplest definition, innovation is the process of creating new ideas, methodologies, services or products that lead to business transformation.

For chief executives, being innovative is a constant challenge, no matter where a business is located or its industry. But as much as business leaders may embrace the idea of innovation, does their sense of urgency match their business reality?

The 2019 YPO Global Pulse aims to answer this critical question and more. The survey was conducted between 29 April and 6 May 2019 via an online questionnaire and gathered insights from 1,661 members across 105 countries and 34 industries.

Last Updated: May 2019

Key Findings

  • 57 percent of chief executives strongly believe there is an urgent need for their business to be innovative. However, more than one-third of those respondents – 37 percent – indicated they are not likely to invest in innovation in the next 12 months.
  • 36 percent of chief executives strongly agree that changing market conditions are disrupting their business; 24 percent strongly agree their industry is being disrupted by technology; and 20 percent strongly agree new competitors threaten their business.
  • Customer experience is the primary business area needing innovation with nearly one in five respondents citing it before products, data/business intelligence or technology.
  • Over the next 12 months, chief executives are extremely likely to invest in innovation in the following areas – products (45 percent), internal processes (44 percent) and technology (42 percent).
  • More than four in 10 chief executives strongly believe they have the appetite for experimentation and risk when they do business (this grows to 90 percent when factoring in those who “strongly” and “somewhat” agree they have an appetite for experimentation and risk). Those leading companies with annual revenues between USD25 million and USD99 million appear to be the most risk averse compared to those leading smaller businesses and those leading businesses with more than USD100 million in annual revenues.
  • Nearly half of chief executives cited customers as their top source of innovation inspiration (48 percent) with employees (35 percent) ranking second and business colleagues third (27 percent). Consultants (10 percent) and think tanks (7 percent) lag far behind.
Level of agreement chart
Area that needs most innovation chart

YPO Global Pulse results – 2009-2018

  2018 Findings
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  2009 Findings
For more information about the YPO Global Pulse, contact ypoglobalpulse@ypo.org.

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