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This is a particularly challenging question. Inherent in innovation is exploring the unknown and that brings with it a higher rate of failure than many are accustomed to. Each individual effort cannot and should not be measured at the innovation state. To do so will stifle innovation.

Portfolio thinking comes in two flavors: across many projects during a single period, and over time. So the performance of an individual or group can be measured, but only by looking at their portfolio.

Measuring Innovation A New Perspective

For individual contributors working on one project at a time, you need to look at their efforts over a period of time across many projects. How to measure innovation? In Japan, innovation and creativity are not exclusive to a select group of design engineers. Innovation and creativity can come from any employee. Sure, most of the ideas were very small, not like the new spectacular new iPhone, but it was the accumulation of these small ideas from all employees that represented the real success of Japanese companies.

So, one important key measure of innovation and creativity is how many ideas per month are your getting from all of your employees.

See a Problem?

According to a recent article in the New Yorker magazine the average Japanese company receives times more written ideas then the average American company. How to motivate the organization to deliver across all stages of the process? Simply evaluate every supervisor and manager on the number of written implemented ideas that they are receiving from their employees.

You reverse the process. When a worker comes up with an idea, it is the job of the manager to listen and help the worker implement it. I go to my supervisor and tell him her about the problem and he only tells me to be more careful. Go ask Mike to teach you how to do it. You ask the worker.

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You just ask. Then watch the innovation and creativity work.


Look, if the Japanese can do it so can we. In my experience, the most important thing is to keep the measures simple and focused on what is important to measure — not what is easy to measure. We did a major survey with Rice and Stanford several years ago, and the major finding was that companies were measuring what was easy to measure instead of what was important, and most were measuring far too many things. The next most important thing is to link these measures and metrics with reward and recognition systems — both are equally important.

In that spirit I would recommend that the following three types of measures be incorporated into a balanced innovation scorecard and linked to performance evaluation and reward and recognition systems. Innovation results are difficult to measure because they include results from a completion of ideas and projects in the innovation pipeline and b the expansion of innovation capacity at the firm.

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  • Chips Chipalkatti leans towards the latter by using the Innovation Sales Rate percentage of sales of new products as a measure, while Normon Bodek focuses on capacity expansion by using the measure of number of ideas per person. Troy Geesaman and others would like to include both including measurements for learning through failures.

    Educational Research and Innovation Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective

    David Silverstein reminds us that innovation projects across a portfolio and innovation projects executed in series by any individual will inherently have higher than average failure rate than other types of projects. Marc Chason provides further insight by writing that innovation should be managed with long-term perspectives with short-term deliverables and goals. The long-term perspective allows for experimentation and learning while the short-term deliverables communicate quick wins and momentum to carry through the long term.

    Victor Fernandes has a more holistic view of innovation results and provides a broader list of elements to measure. The I-BSC organizes the key measures into leading, in-process and lagging indicators. It measures the a risk adjusted value and size, shape and speed of innovation projects pipeline, b investment in new platforms, partners, and competences, c new earnings and revenue contributed by the pipeline.

    It is clear that innovation results are not easy to measure. Far too many companies measure what is easy to measure but not what is important to measure and get it wrong. Innovation management is a system and the innovation breakthroughs require the whole organization to work as a team.

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    Innovation measures should be similarly encompass the organization. Thank you!

    Published by Aleah Willow Modified over 4 years ago. New ways of looking at traditional indicators New experimental indicators that provide insight into new areas of policy interest Measurement gaps and challenges A forward-looking measurement agenda. Investment in intangible assets is rising and taking over investment in physical capital machinery and equipment. Policies that stimulate collaboration and network initiatives will have an impact on the entire spectrum of innovative firms. Note : Data refers to patent applications filed under the Patent Co-operation Treaty PCT with a priority in Patent counts are based on the country of residence of the applicants.

    The share of young firms is derived from the set of patent applicants successfully matched with business register data. Source: Bosma et al. Product Market Regulation Indicators are quantitative indicators derived form qualitative information on laws and regulations that may affect competition. Get information by mode of funding how ; by type of agency by whom , by tool for what , and over time… National experts to analyse administrative documents to exploit better GBAORD data. National Library of Australia. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia.

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