Innovation Management – What gets measured gets done


in Creativity,Innovation

 Are you a creative business visionary? If so, do you feel that one of the hardest challenges is to win top management’s support for your ideas? Do you feel that your proposal is killed not because it have poor potential but because management simply doesn’t understand them or does not even listen to the presentation?

Well you are not alone. But is it always management who lacks knowledge or interest? From what I have experienced I would say that the answer is – no, not always. A common mistake is that presenters often miss to explain tacit knowledge and simple core values like: the target market, customer needs, market opportunity, key benefits or primary differentiation when presenting the proposition. So for the next time, try to fine tune your presentation so your proposition gets more attractive and support from top management. In the Open Innovation Revolution (2010), the author Stefan Lindegaard describes how to communicate effectively and how to sell your vision and ideas by using Moore´s six elements. These elements are:

  1. For (target customer).
  2. Who are/wants/needs (statement of needs or opportunity or compelling reason to buy)
  3. The (product name) is a (product category).
  4. That (statement of key benefits).
  5. Unlike (primary competitive alternative ).
  6. Our product (statement of primary differentiation).

The six elements enable the presenter to explain the product or service and all the important aspects in a few sentences without providing too much information. The Idea is to communicate your proposal to others in less than a minute so they will remember the majority of the value proposition. By doing this your idea will easily be diffused by word of mouth, which is extremely important.

Another aspect you have to consider is to put yourself into manager’s reality and view the proposition from their point of view. Can it be aligned with the corporate strategy? Can your idea/innovation be applied to both business strategy and business model? If they can, then these are the most influential kinds of innovation as it relates to creating and sustaining growth.

Let’s have a look at organizations and top management now. How often do you hear or read presentations from top management saying ” Under this period John’s team came up with this many ideas and in this phase of the innovation process we still got this many great ideas left. Measures show that the value creation by our innovation efforts is superb…. and John’s team has by spreading their knowledge inspired other teams to come up many more great ideas”…..?

My point is, what gets measured gets done. Suppose that organizations on regularly basis start to monitor their innovation efforts, how many new ideas their business teams came up with or how effective their teams are in the innovation process.

By doing this managers would:

  1. Get recognition for the number of ideas their teams generate.
  2. Feel some pressure to support and spur a creative environment.
  3. Continuous develop and quality assure the innovation process.

This, more than their individual predispositions, is likely to make them more receptive. It ought to be an organization-wide success criterion, that the best managers are the ones who proactively seek ideas from their team members. If management were proactive in this regard, employees wouldn’t feel like they had a hard sell on their hands and corporate culture would become more open minded and creative.

Does your corporation conduct these measures? If not, why not?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen @ The InventionAddict blog September 9, 2010 at 22:21

I wish we had some metrics for innovation. Some day.

I believe what gets measured (or if it affects you compensation) it will get done.

You need to be careful what you measure. Motorola measured how many patent disclosures were submitted by employees and we got lots of junk.

Reply September 9, 2010 at 23:19

My point is that by doing this, organizations signals that creativity and ideation is important. The measurement itself is not at all important it just a messenger to narrow minded managers, saying “Let’s spur organizational creativity”

Well It’s a thin line to walk! And I agree “you need to be careful what you measure”. Imposing traditional metrics prematurely on a new idea can kill it.


Jose Baldaia September 10, 2010 at 00:17

I agree that measures are important and in some cases it is true : It’s done!
Leaders and managers don’t like risks and if we can measure (estimate)the value creation we are in the path of implementation. Sometime we only need CEO intuition as we can see in Apple, Virgin, and a lot of SME etc.
If we don´t have the ok of the decision-makers it is because we may have the best analytical process but our idea doesn’t fit with CEO vision.
I think if we can combine risk and possibilities we also have a good approach!
Jose Baldaia


Joan Koerber-Walker September 10, 2010 at 16:24

A better maxim might be “Ideas that get tangible results count for more.” When presenting ideas to managment, focus on the tangible results that can be measured and will benefit the organization. These are the ones most likely to be implemented. Too often we present ideas without presenting the implementation path and the projected outcome effectively. When we demonstrate how an idea yeilds a positive result to the leaders of an organization, we are more likely to get the opportunity to implement that idea. When we develop a track record of ideas that yeild tangible results, it is easier to ‘sell’ the next idea.


Jessica H. October 2, 2010 at 11:59

Good concepts. I’d like to add one other…

3. Get recognition for the number of “teams their ideas generate”

Ie: If I could have a small team put to task e for every good concept I’d like to develop and/or present…

I think the numbers would speak for themselves…


Debt October 24, 2010 at 12:47

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