Everyone likes to talk about innovation, but how do you measure it? How do you know whether or not your innovation program is performing well? And which innovation metrics will drive the right behavior to achieve your organization’s strategic goals?
While I am a firm believer in focusing on outcomes in order to achieve both personal and professional success, I also think it’s critical to measure progress along the way to make potential course corrections as needed. Whether it is saving money to buy your first house, training for a marathon, or improving your skills to get that next promotion, it requires a vision of the end result and milestone metrics along the way. The same holds true for innovation.
Many companies make the mistake of focusing solely on financial metrics surrounding the launch of new products as a means to measure innovation. And while that certainly isn’t wrong – it’s why we’re all in business, right – it’s only part of the story.
Other companies swing to the other end of the pendulum and focus on the front end of innovation (FEI), measuring the number of new ideas submitted and how many votes each idea received. It is really easy to get enamored with ideation and filling the funnel with new, innovative ideas from across the company. But here again, it’s not enough by itself and won’t guarantee innovation success.
The answer to “Which innovation metrics should I measure?” lies in both. Innovation metrics should span the entire product development process (PDP), and extend beyond the process to include influencing factors and KPI’s around strategy, culture, environment, and risk. It’s not an easy endeavor to determine the right innovation metrics to move the needle forward, but it IS possible and the payoff is huge when you make innovation a repeatable and predictable capability within your organization.
This is such hot topic these days that we asked our friend, Jim Brown, at Tech-Clarity to help us take a deeper dive. Get your company’s innovation metrics in alignment with your innovation strategy to start 2018 with a bang by joining us for our upcoming webcast, Stop Measuring Innovation via the Rearview Mirror: Innovation Metrics that Drive Performance.