Innovation Horizons | Searching for Measures of Your Innovation Initiatives? Look Here for Some Clues.
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Searching for Measures of Your Innovation Initiatives? Look Here for Some Clues.

Searching for Measures of Your Innovation Initiatives? Look Here for Some Clues.

Often organizations seeking to create a culture of innovation to enhance their performance will look for ways to assess that the methods that they are using are making a difference. Clearly, organizations that enact new products and services can easily determine impact through key performance indicators or financial indicators of their business. However, for organizations that are mission-oriented, outcome measures of enhanced productivity may be difficult to assess. One of my personal quests in the advancement of institutional approaches to innovation is to build and apply better methods of innovation assessment.

Today, the results and interpretation of some new measures that were created and applied by the Department of Health and Human Services IDEA Lab were published in The Innovation Journal – the Public Sector Innovation Journal. In this report, serial measures of impact are reported on five years of experience with an entrepreneur-in-residence and an innovation accelerator program. The data reflects the use of survey and interview techniques and relate them to broad government annual survey on institutional employee attitudes on innovation. The findings of this report shine a light on an often undervalued aspect of innovation in organizations – the attitudes of employees toward institutional leadership, culture, and structure to support the testing of new ideas. Additionally, the report provides insights to guide in the development of innovation-related programs and activities in large mission-oriented organizations, specifically how best to maximize the design, measurement and impact of such programs.

I’m encouraged by these results and believe that this work opens the door for others to improve on measurement methods. We need better approaches to assess how innovation initiatives and management approaches that will guide innovators, managers, and leaders to understand the impact of them.

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