Companies nowadays are all about being “innovative” but do they all know how to be successfully and sustainably innovative? What many of them are referring to as “innovation” are simply ideas with no plan of action to become something truly innovative. As a society we rely greatly on data, tests and metrics- which are all just numbers- as ways to measure success. These do not always comply with ideals like creativity and breakthroughs, which are terms often associated with innovation. Innovation can shape the future, but we should want to see how far we have come, and to do that it needs to measured and tracked.

According to McKinsey studies, about 70% of business leaders mention innovation as one of their top 3 priorities, but merely 22% have implemented guides to measure innovative success. There is no set definition or expectation of what innovation is across all businesses and there is no standard to measure innovation within a business. The measurement of innovation is a combination of art and science, which is what makes it difficult to do. What works for one company may not work for another as a result of organizational differences.  

The most innovative companies understand  that measurements of innovation should consider both quantitative and qualitative factors of  the business. They realize that their innovative success is not solely based on revenue and profit but also specific goals that should be set and seeing what works internally for meeting such goals by considering what the goal is and what inputs are necessary to achieve the desired output.

To read more about measuring innovation read Soren Kaplan’s article “How to Measure Innovation (To Get Real Results)” http://www.fastcodesign.com/3031788/how-to-measure-innovation-to-get-real-results

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