Innovation Metrics vs Execution Metrics

Added on by Alexander Osterwalder.

It’s a huge challenge for innovation teams to establish and implement innovation metrics in their organization. Why? Because they substantially differ from the established metrics that focus on execution.

Unfortunately, established  companies frequently apply execution metrics--metrics designed to manage the existing business--to innovation projects. We see this a lot in the companies we work with, and it’s a real challenge. How you measure results for a known and proven business model or value proposition substantially differs from how you measure progress in an innovation project for an unproven potential business model.

At Strategyzer, we are currently working on an innovation metrics project with three large multinational companies. In the table below we sketch out the challenges these companies face when distinguishing between execution and innovation metrics. The most difficult one to “sell” is the mindset that (in innovation projects) the “cost of failure” is a positive investment in learning. In execution, the “cost of failure” is just a bad thing.

With the table below we want to emphasize that it’s critical for companies to design a set of metrics specifically dedicated to innovation projects. If organizations continue to apply execution metrics to innovation projects then they set their innovation teams up for failure and career suicide. Innovation needs it’s own set of metrics.

How is your organization dealing with metrics for innovation? Do you have your own set of metrics for innovation projects?

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