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Future Latin American business leaders recognize importance of innovation, few believe they are being encouraged

Generation-Y respondents also believe business plays key role in developing society


Peru – Seventy-five percent of future business leaders in Latin America believe innovation is essential for business growth and 84 percent believe the success of a business should be measured by more than just financial performance, according to the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) Latin America Millennial (Generation-Y) survey. However, only 18 percent of Generation-Y respondents believe that their organization’s leadership encourages and rewards idea generation and creativity.

“The survey results illustrate how much importance future business leaders across Latin America place on innovation—not just as a driver of business growth but also as a catalyst for solving society’s most pressing problems,” said Deloitte Latin America CEO, Carlos Haehnel. “Organizations must do all they can to ensure that innovation at the institutional level can sufficiently shift an organization’s mindset to allow new ideas to truly emerge and thrive.”

The Latin America survey consisted of nearly 2,000 responses from Generation-Y in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. The top challenges facing society over the next 20 years were considered to be resource scarcity (48 percent), consequences of natural disasters (32 percent), and climate change (30 percent). In comparison to the global results, natural disasters and climate change came further down the priority list (inflation, for example, was 2nd) which indicates a different global outlook within Latin America.

Innovating for societal good

The business community is regarded as playing a lead role in developing innovations that will benefit society. Forty-one percent of the Generation-Y respondents believe that businesses drive the innovations that most positively impact society. This was followed by academic bodies, which received more mentions in Latin America (24 percent) as compared to the global study (17 percent). Additionally 96 percent say it is acceptable for business to make a profit from an innovation that ’benefits society’, which was similar to the global study results (95 percent).

Talent as a catalyst for innovation

Innovation is also an important component of talent recruitment and retention. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of the Generation-Y respondents surveyed say innovation is a key factor in making an organization an employer of choice. This is particularly relevant to many companies, attracting the ever-growing number of Generation-Y, who are forecasted to make up 75 percent of the world’s workforce by 2025.

However, discrepancies were found when Generation-Y respondents in Latin America were asked about the requirements for innovation:

  • 40 percent of respondents believe that encouragement and rewards for idea generation and creativity is a requirement for innovation to occur, whereas only 18 percent say their current organization operates in this way.
  • 34 percent say providing employees with free time to dedicate to learning and creativity is key to an innovative environment, versus 16 percent who characterize their workplace that way.
  • 26 percent consider openness and the freedom to challenge as key to innovation, versus 13 percent who say this is visible in their organizations.
  • 34 percent believe in the importance of encouraging innovative thinking at all levels of the organization, versus 20 percent who describe their places of employment that way.

“As demographics in Latin America continue to change, and the generational shift in leadership continues, a very real opportunity exists for organizations across Latin America to step up and create the conditions needed to encourage and foster innovation in their work environments,” said Gary Coleman, Managing Director, Global Industries, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). “There is a significant competitive advantage to be gained for organizations that get this right: they can better recruit and retain talent, remain more competitive into the future, and more positively impact society.”

Views on innovation vary by globally, regionally and by industry

  • The sectors considered to be responsible for the most innovations (Latin America vs. global) are: technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) (59 vs. 52 percent), consumer goods/services (50 vs. 47 percent), and manufacturing (27 vs. 37 percent).
  • The sectors considered to be most in need of innovations (Latin America vs. global) are: education (45 vs. 27 percent), electric power (20 vs. 18 percent), and health care providers (19 vs. 16 percent).
  • Respondents in the BRIC countries consider themselves and their companies to be innovative, while respondents from Japan place their companies at the bottom in nearly every aspect of innovation. For example, 70 percent of respondents within the BRIC countries rate their employers as innovative, while only 25 percent of respondents in Japan did so.
  • Regionally, seven in ten (71 percent) would describe themselves as innovative, ranging from Peru (83 percent), Brazil (77 percent), Colombia (71 percent), Mexico (71 percent), Chile (66 percent), and Argentina (59 percent).
  • Seventy-three percent of respondents in the region feel their company’s activities benefit society, led by Brazil (83 percent), Colombia (78 percent), Mexico (76 percent), Chile (70 percent), Argentina (66 percent), and Peru (65 percent).

For more information and to view the survey results, visit:

About the Deloitte Latin America Millennial Study:

The research findings are based on a study conducted by Millward Brown. A total of 1,918 interviews were conducted online from 6th-19th March 2013 – except the Brazil study where interviews were conducted from 26th November-3rd December 2012. Approximately 300 interviews were conducted in each of six markets in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Screening questions at the recruitment stage ensured that all respondents were Millennials (Generation Y) – born January 1982 onwards, were degree educated, and were currently in full-time employment. Interviews lasted approximately 15 minutes.

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.


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