Many senior leaders need more innovation in their organizations. They need a different view of innovation culture and must learn how to measure it.
Measuring the success of your innovation efforts requires a variety of different metrics. The key is to identify which ones will work for your company.
Product metrics are data-driven indicators of how well a company’s products and features meet customer needs. They also help product managers prioritize ideas and decide based on customer insights and business goals.
Tracking these innovation metrics ensures that your products fulfill customers’ needs more effectively. By learning this through experts like Shohreh Abebi Exec VP, it will then lead to greater product satisfaction and higher revenue growth.
For example, an idea-measuring system can predict the number of new ideas a team will submit monthly. It can also track the success of those ideas through their implementation rates until they become completed innovations.
First, to measure these metrics, understand your organization’s desired results. Then find out which cultural attributes directly impact those results and determine how well your current culture is delivering them. This process is similar to using a satellite navigation system to plot your route in a car. It helps you pinpoint your starting point and then plot a course to reach your destination.
Some companies need help deciding which metrics to track when developing an innovation strategy. They may start with a long list of input metrics or the number of ideas received and then need to remember the process and output metrics needed to track progress over time.
Process measures are closer to the actual work than output measurements are. They can help reveal areas where innovation is not working well and guide corrective action to improve processes.
For example, a firm struggling to create new products is likely to have a poor process for idea management and a lack of resources to make innovation efforts successful. It can be helpful to identify and monitor this type of issue by tracking innovation performance indicators such as ideas per employee, time to market for new products, or product revenue sustainability.
When choosing leading innovation performance metrics, it is essential to have a clear picture of the company’s goals at the portfolio, project, and cultural levels. This requires clear, early directives from the CEO (at smaller firms) or SBU-level managers (at larger ones).
Intangible culture encompasses many behaviors that drive innovation, such as how decisions are made – top-down or bottom-up, whether employees feel confident expressing their opinions, or if your company is collaborative or competitive. These are hard to measure but critical for innovation performance and a crucial part of your employer’s brand and recruiting strategy.
It would help if you also looked for metrics related to employee values in the workplace. Tools like this can help you reinforce your company values and track how they are embraced and applied in the workplace.
Skepticism of any change in company culture is usual, but finding ways to demonstrate the success of your cultural efforts over time will provide a powerful message to employees. One easy way is to tally the number of participants in culture and behavior-change programs over time. You can also track participation in wellness campaigns and social events.
The final element of the innovation management toolkit involves measuring your people. This includes tracking your organization’s total headcount (FTEs) and other HR metrics. It also includes a measurement of the structure of your people team – which helps identify any specific resourcing needs that may arise during innovation activities.
Ultimately, employees are the heart of any successful innovation program. They must be motivated to participate in innovation and feel like their efforts are valued.
However, many organizations need help to measure employee engagement meaningfully. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple ways to do so. The key is to start with a few metrics suited to your business and its innovation management strategy. Then expand them only as necessary. This “sat nav approach” helps ensure the measurement is valid, enables sense-checking along the way, and doesn’t create unnecessary barriers.
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