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McKinsey – Tech highlights from 2022 — in eight charts

From metaverse mania to eye-popping breakthroughs in generative AI, it has been quite a year for technology. We present some of the stories that helped shape the last twelve months, as told through eight charts—with a smattering of insights to go along with them.

At first glance, our latest AI survey shows adoption leveling off over the past few years, though it has more than doubled since 2017, and applied AI continually ranks high in our annual tech trends analyses.

Quantum computing progress brings high expectations—and a little fear



Key Leadership Trends 2022

Today, more than ever, organizations need competent leaders. When the pandemic-led disruptions changed the world of work, leaders had to navigate uncharted waters to survive and thrive. And now with new challenges emerging, leaders should be ready to work under more pressure with resilience and adaptive skills as their hallmarks. As we enter a new year with a long list of lessons learned, reached out to leaders and top leadership experts to find out what they believe are the key leadership trends for 2022, and what leaders can do to prepare for the changes ahead. Leading with Intention: Leadership in the workplace has often been organic or even accidental. You would encounter people in the office in meetings or in casual interactions and those conversations would often give you the opportunity to lead that person. Now, in a hybrid work environment, those organic and accidental interactions will be fewer and less frequent. In 2022, leaders who bring intention to their interactions with employees will achieve higher levels of success in a hybrid work environment. They understand the need to plan ahead, have a strategy for leadership, and then execute that plan instead of ‘just letting it happen.’  There are a lot of managers and leaders that excelled when everyone was in the office. But are they prepared and equipped to lead a remote and distributed team? Without intentional effort, it will be very hard to do. Those who l…



Leadership Trends 2022: Overcoming Hybrid Working Challenges

2022 will be the year when hybrid work becomes the norm and companies across the globe learn to optimize their operations to accommodate this new way of working. Implications for hybrid work are manifold, but none are more challenging than learning to lead a group of employees who are only sporadically occupying the same physical space. Throughout 2020 and 2021, leaders and employees navigated remote work successfully with good faith, extra effort, and a lot of patience.    Leaders and their human resource partners should consider the last two years as practice runs because 2022 will be the year when hybrid work comes fully online. While formal policies and procedures will be in place to provide guidance, leaders will bear the brunt of making sure employees can remain productive and happy while working in this new way. Overcoming Challenges of Hybrid Work in 2022 Team-based Work and Innovation The shift from a fully remote workplace to a hybrid will allow leaders to make surgical decisions about when the team must be together in person to succeed. For example, I am working now with a leader whose team is re-building the technical architecture in support of a new workflow in a critical part of his company’s operations. Every manager in this multi-national organization will be impacted by these changes. His team of 20 engineers and product managers are in Dubai, Holland, and Mumbai. They have a total of two hours overlapping work time to sort…



BCG Most Innovative Companies 2021

Coming out of COVID-19, companies want—and need—to innovate. But too few are ready to rise to the challenge.

Successful innovation takes three things. Making innovation a priority. Committing investment and talent to it. And being ready to transform investment into results. So how are the most innovative companies doing?

Innovation priority is up.

Let’s start with the good news. The number of companies reporting that innovation is among their organizations’ top three priorities is up 10 percentage points in 2021 to 75%—the largest year-over-year increase in the 15 global innovation surveys BCG has conducted since 2005.

But only about half of companies are investing behind their aspirations.

Priorities are good, but commitment counts, too. And just under half of the companies in our research report are putting real resources behind their priorities. We call these companies committed innovators.

An organization can create real value only if its underlying innovation system is ready to translate priority and commitment into results. On this dimension, the news is sobering.

Many committed innovators face a big readiness gap.

This year, we asked respondents a series of questions that enabled us to use BCG’s innovation-to-impact benchmarking framework (i2i by BCG) to assess the readiness of their innovation systems. A perfect i2i score is 100—and only about a quarter of committed innovators scored 80 or above. The median committed innovator fell short of best practice on every i2i dimension, sometimes significantly. And by definition, if that’s how the median performer fared, half of committed innovators score even lower. You can explore the dimensions of the readiness gap below and in the first chapter of our Most Innovative Companies 2021 report: “The Readiness Gap.”

Our analysis reveals that focusing on deficits in five of the ten i2i readiness areas are likely to have the greatest returns:

A focus on leadership and teaming can help close the readiness gap.

The five key elements of readiness highlighted above can be distilled into two overarching themes—leadership and teaming—each of which is the subject of a chapter of this year’s full Most Innovative Companies report.


Leading innovators drive results from a clear CEO agenda. And unambiguous C-level ownership distinguishes top performers from underperformers as measured by share of sales from new products and services. What should be on the CEO’s innovation agenda? We examine this question specifically in “The CEO Innovation Agenda,” the second chapter of this year’s report.


It’s also impossible to achieve innovation readiness without a strong link—indeed, a virtuous cycle of collaboration—between product development and facing functions. Establishing this cycle and keeping it active are perennial challenges. In fact, this year the global innovation executives we surveyed cited it as the top obstacle to achieving higher returns on innovation investment. Explore the stories of ten leading innovators that successfully maintain innovation’s connection with the marketplace in the third chapter of our Most Innovative Companies report: “How Leaders Bring Product and Sales Teams Together.”

Download the full report


5 Ways People Managers Can Become Innovation Champions

Does this innovation challenge sound familiar? Your team leaders and managers acknowledge the importance of innovation and even sing its praises—but if you ask them how they routinely champion innovation within their teams, you might get crickets. The problem is that most people managers, while they recognize the need for innovation initiatives, don’t engage in these initiatives themselves. Innovation isn’t their job; their main concern is ensuring employees get the necessary day-to-day work done. People managers are good at directing and growing what already exists but often struggle to guide their teams to new ways of thinking and creating. Imagine what would happen to them, to their teams, to the organization if the opposite were true. Championing innovation can be difficult, but is very achievable if you invest the time, no matter the size of your team or organization. Follow these five guidelines and foster the self-confidence and awareness to successfully take your team from simply good at innovation to out-innovating the competition. Grow Your Self-Awareness Many leaders report low self-awareness, which can impact how they lead and even the organization’s bottom line. Growing this essential leadership skill will help you be aware of other blind spots. It’s a baseline from which you can improve as an innovator and, in turn, help others become better innovators.