Some interesting stats from this McKinsey survey (Assessing innovation metrics: McKinsey Global Survey Results) that deserve to be highlighted:
- 65 percent rank innovation in their top 3 strategic initiatives in 2008 compared to 70 percent in 2007.
- 16% of the respondents say that their companies don’t use any metrics to assess innovations.
- Companies are much likelier to rely on metrics for outputs than for inputs.
- Respondents say that their companies use about eight metrics, on average, to assess innovations.
Successful innovators take more of a portfolio approach and use metrics to help create a balanced portfolio.
From the H2FL perspective the relatively sparse use of metrics is interesting as it suggests a palette of 8 metrics can be sufficient to gain the necessary feedback and control across a portfolio of projects.
In my experience the portfolio concept much loved of VC’s is still not appreciated outside of some large corporates. I think there is more work we need to do to sell the idea of a balanced portfolio aligned with an innovation strategy and the metrics necessary to shape and monitor it. I’ll add that to the list for How To Farm Lightning: sustainable innovation 2009!