Monday, April 3, 2017

The Organization’s Innovation Measurement & Scoreboard

The innovation indicators vary depending on who is doing the measuring, and how they are measuring. It’s contextual.

Innovation is about transforming novel ideas into business values. Innovation score of the organization means an attempt to measure innovation management effectiveness for improving the return on investment. The factors included in any scoring system will depend on what you are looking to evaluate (individual vs. team vs. organization; potential vs. past performance.). This is usually done through innovation indicators. But more specifically, what’re the pros and cons of measuring innovation and how to score the company’s innovation maturity objectively?

Score the company’s innovation capacity, performance, potential, and innovation maturity:  At the corporate level, there's one crucial clarification: Are you intending to evaluate the capacity/potential to innovate, or the level of past innovation (more of a performance measure)? Innovation is not just about technology, it's about people, culture,  partnership, processes, etc: Isn't that what innovation is all about: Do it better, differentiate yourself from your completion, run, grow and transform the business. How would you calculate an Innovator's Score? Some factors that could be used to measure innovation score within a company could be resources invested (human and financial), employees motivation (Top management encouragement and support, challenging activities being involved, level of autonomy given), number of projects/initiatives being launched, and organizational culture (Mission, vision, structure, networking collaboration with partners), etc.
Score the innovation platform and process effectiveness: A well-considered tool/platform for innovation, in the given culture, operating environment is important to manage innovation in a structural and scalable way. The appropriately configured innovation platform creates a scalable means for sharing and building ideas throughout the enterprise. As a result, innovation becomes a persistent, shared reality, even across silos and geographies. It needs to be the part of innovation management planning and implementation, to strengthen the innovation effort and success rate to the organization. The innovation platform and process can be evaluated based on:
(1) How will it increase speed in the innovation process
(2) How will it decrease risk in the innovation process
(3) How will it effectively leverage diversity to create meaningfully unique ideas
(4) How will it effectively use the power of stimulus to create meaningfully unique ideas
(5) How will it help to reduce fear in the organization?

Evaluating the “soft factors” of the business for innovation success: Innovation success is based on both hard elements such as system or process, but also the soft factors such as leadership or culture. That means, as long as the experiences and skills are adequate, it is mainly the business or organizational environment that is the driver of successful innovation efforts.  Hence, it’s necessary to measure culture to make such an innovation assessment more objectively. The innovative culture assessment is based on:
- Willingness to accept risk of failure
- Creative/analytical capacity (ideation/evaluation)
- Regulatory and/or industry influences
- Level of customer interaction
- The physical orientation of an office, its collaborative/meeting/etc, spaces
- The diversity of educational/professional backgrounds, inclusiveness.

Making business measurement is both art and science, measuring innovation is even more challenging. Unfortunately, most innovation indicators are flawed and present limitations. Also, the innovation indicators vary depending on who is doing the measuring, and how they are measuring. It’s contextual, from individual to culture to organization as a whole, the well-designed innovation scoreboard should inspire the culture of innovation, motivate innovative actions, improve innovation process, platform, and capacity, and lift the overall innovation management maturity.


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