Metrics Business Innovation

Metrics for Business Innovation

MetricsBD COHNsulting works with firms of all sizes as well as industry associations to select the innovation metrics most appropriate for succeeding in their pursuit of innovation for enhanced competitiveness and higher performance.“One cannot manage something that is not understood and measured” – a statement attributed to Lord Kelvin – captures the critical importance of pursuing a measurement-based management of innovation. This may seem to be a matter of common sense, but it is surprising to see how many companies – in Canada and elsewhere – do not manage their innovation activities and suffer for it because, as another common sense piece of wisdom says it (only) “what is measured gets done”.Effective measurement-based management of innovation requires the selection of those indicators that best characterize the critical domains of innovation pursued by the firm. A balanced portfolio of innovation indicators of quantitative or qualitative nature needs to be determined for a comprehensive assessment of firm-level innovation.   Some companies focus exclusively on outcome metrics, which are usually addressing historic results, without concern for metrics related to strategies, resources, culture and processes which depict the capabilities of the company to compete and perform in the future.
Metrics processMetrics are the ways by which such indicators are evaluated – numerically or not. Using too few metrics may disregard important aspects of innovation for the company. However, using too many metrics may lead to confusion and administrative burdens.There is art and science in the selection of a balanced portfolio of metrics and the determination of who to do the measurements and when to have them done. Equally important is the pre-determination of metric thresholds and corrective actions in case the thresholds are not met.Not all metrics are equal – some metrics are more valuable than others in terms of helping drive for a more effective culture of innovation and higher corporate performance. As well, metrics need to be changed from time to time either to reflect better the specific innovation portfolio being pursue or to deflect personnel attempts at exploiting the use of some metrics for unmerited individual rewards.BD COHNsulting extensive knowledge of metrics and their relative values helps companies optimize the allocation of resources and undertake more effective innovation activities with timely reviews and portfolio adjustments.