What should you be measuring?

One of the most important topics regarding innovation metrics is what, exactly, you should be measuring to get the most out of your innovation efforts.

When we talk to organizations we typically see that the metrics measured fall into three separate categories. First, there’s metrics that measure the overall innovation ecosystem. Then there are metrics that measure products and the stages of ideas or opportunities through a pipeline, and finally metrics that measure the team as a whole.

What you measure is ultimately dependent on what you’re actually trying to achieve in each of these three categories. One of the most important pieces of advice we give our clients is to call their shots, to be deliberate and not haphazard with their metrics. You need to think about which behaviors you’re actually trying to drive with all of the measurements you’re taking, and using that to decide which metrics you’re monitoring.

For example, if someone suggests measuring internal networks as a potential measure for the strength of your innovation ecosystem within your organization, step back and think about it. Think about if you were to start measuring that, what behaviors would you start getting more of? What are ways in which people might try to game that measurement? And does it actually get you closer to the endpoint you’ve set for your innovation goals?

By strategically thinking about your metrics and how they will shape behaviors, you can more intelligently and successfully make decisions that will bring about positive results.