These Cities Have The Most Innovative Workers

Research Highlights Cities Where Largest Percentage of CFOs View Innovation as Employee Strength

MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 8, 2015 -- When it comes to creative thinking, professionals in Miami; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; and Dallas lead the pack, suggests a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey. In these cities, the largest portion of chief financial officers (CFOs) cited innovation as a strength of their workforce.

Nationwide, nearly one-third (31 percent) of CFOs characterized their employees as "very innovative." The majority of financial executives (59 percent) said staff members are somewhat innovative but have room for improvement.

The research also found companies are taking steps to foster innovation among their teams. CFOs reported their organizations provide a range of development options, from training and rewards to opportunities for employee collaboration with consultants.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,100 CFOs at companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets.

Survey Findings
CFOs were asked, "How innovative do you consider your employees?" Their responses:

Very innovative -- innovation is a strength of our employees


Somewhat innovative -- our employees are generally innovative, but there's room for improvement


Not very innovative -- there are bright spots, but this is a weakness our company needs to address


Not at all innovative




CFOs also were asked, "Which of the following, if any, does your company do to foster innovation among employees?" Their responses*:

Provide additional training


Provide interdepartmental cross-training


Offer rewards for successful new ideas


Conduct frequent brainstorming sessions


Bring in consultants for fresh perspective


*Multiple responses were permitted. Top responses shown.

Where Innovation Thrives
Following are the cities in which the highest percentage of CFOs described their employees as very innovative:

  • Miami: 43 percent
  • Philadelphia: 39 percent
  • Washington, D.C.: 38 percent
  • Dallas: 38 percent
  • Cincinnati: 34 percent
  • Salt Lake City: 34 percent

Fostering an Innovative Culture
"Organizations need to embed innovation in their hiring criteria and corporate culture," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "Managers can start by actively soliciting ideas from staff, creating safe environments to take risks, and ensuring employees have the time and resources to explore new solutions to business challenges."

McDonald noted that fresh perspectives from outside the company also can spur creative ideas among internal staff. "Consultants can be engaged to bring specialized skill sets and insights shaped by best practices learned from diverse experiences, companies and industries," he said.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has 150 locations worldwide and offers assistance to hiring managers and consultants at and on its blog at

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