Chuck Frey
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“Critical to have a balanced group of metrics around all innovation management dimensions — innovation strategy , innovation partnerships, innovation platforms, innovation portfolios, innovation process and systems, innovation and entrepreneurship culture.”

“In my experience, the most important thing is to keep the measures simple and focused on what is important to measure — not what is easy to measure. We did a major survey with Rice and Stanford several years ago, and the major finding was that companies were measuring what was easy to measure instead of what was important, and most were measuring far too many things.”

The ‘Type A’ answer is that the best measure of innovation results is ultimate financial success in the marketplace. While that is definitely a reasonable expectation, I’m hopeful that results are also measured by the learning gained throughout the discovery and commercialization process of innovation. Financial success is ultimately imperative to feed the innovation engine, but hopefully, there is enough patience and “lifeline” allowed for products and/or projects to fail along the way.”

“There are a lot of new metrics being used today. Most are garbage. Things that need to be looked at include overall portfolio performance and the “funnel.” The top of the funnel — new ideas — should be getting bigger. The quality of what comes out of the funnel should be improving. And most importantly, companies need to get much better at learning to kill projects when it’s clear they’re not going to deliver value. All too often we only measure the final result. In innovation, the intermediate steps must be measured, too.”


It is abundantly clear from our roundtable of experts that measuring innovation is a balanced scorecard. Innovation involves a portfolio of metrics across financial, strategic, organizational and human capital variables, and also across time.

In short, measuring Innovation is really about measuring Growth.

This explains Ignite’s obsessive focus on the 4 Growth Streams (4GS), Innovation being only one of the 4GS, along with Customer-Centricity, Collaboration, and Purpose. It the science behind how the Ignite O/S operationalizes, measures, and scales the 4GS via 6-month Growth Sprints on a 100-point Growth Scale