What does it truly mean to say that you are an innovative organization? One of the simplest, most powerful measures is implementation. How many innovative initiatives have you launched and put into the world?
There are arguments why the QWERTY keyboard is inferior to other designs, but there’s no argument that its the best innovation we’ve ever had when it comes to typing. Why? It’s the one that was implemented into practice.
Checkmarks on a list usually imply some kind of rote behaviour that isn’t suitable for innovation, although checklists themselves are useful for quality control. We prefer the idea of ‘success marks’ which indicate that an idea has been successfully taken from concept and put into practice — whether or not it yields desired outcomes.
As an index, we propose the following six metrics:
- The number of new initiatives that have been implemented into practice
- The number of projects that have developed prototypes that have been tested
- The prototype ‘death rate’: divide the number of terminated prototypes by the total number of prototypes developed
- The number of prototypes moved into implementation (* which is a similar, but not necessarily the same number as #1)
- The number of new initiatives started:
- The initiative death rate: divide the number of ‘new’ projects started by the number of projects implemented
Number 1 is the most important of all of these.
The reason we count all six as part of an index is that each of these represents some form of concerted action and effort toward moving ideas out of concept into action with the lowest number (Number 1) representing the highest value to the organization.
While having ideas is a precursor to prototypes we don’t we count this because it is easy to game this metric.
We also don’t believe in coming up with metrics about innovation or even prototype quality because the success of implementation and the quality of the prototype don’t always match. You can implement an idea that is still in development, yet still has value that can be realized right away.
Want to show how innovative you are? Consider scoring yourself on these metrics to see how much of what your organization does is talk and how much of it is action.
Want to move ideas into action? We can help. And we can develop the metrics to show what kind of impact your innovation has in the world. Let us show you how.