Defining Your Innovation Metrics

When people talk about the metrics that they use to measure the success of their innovation programs, they are often talking about two different things, both of which are very important when defining your innovation metrics:

  1. They are talking about their innovation capabilities (that is, how to assess the promise of ideas that they have in the pipeline, their ability to compete, where they need to allocate new resources to innovation).
  2. They are talking about their innovation results (that is, they’re talking about what sorts of return they have on their innovation investment. Did they see new growth or generate new efficiencies?)

Some people think that you should choose one or the other type of metric, but really you need to be watching both in order to predictably (and continuously) innovate. Here are a few examples of companies that measured their innovation inputs and outputs.

Example Inputs:

MSA is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. In order to find new opportunities for improvement, a team there launched [email protected]? (that is, “What To Fix” at MSA?). Was the engagement a success? Nearly 100% of participants contributed to the platform.

In 2009, the White House launched the SAVE awards, which asked for efficiency ideas that would save the government and tax payers money. The collected more than 100,000 ideas (they also were able to report on some outputs: millions of dollars of savings).

Example Outputs:

When Brian Stearns proposed a new product in his IdeaScale community, the new product line sold millions of units which generated millions of dollars in new revenue in its first year.

When Redwood Credit Union used IdeaScale to source ideas on how to improve the customer experience, they noted an overall improvement to their NPS score after some of those ideas were implemented.

Which innovation inputs and outputs are you tracking at your program? Download this infographic to learn more about innovation metrics. 

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