Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Innovation spend Vs. Innovation results – Have you recently given a thought to this?

Is it time you looked at how much you are spending on innovation and what you are getting out of it.

There is a possibility that you are doing great, and there is also a possibility that you are feeding a black hole, or you could be somewhere in between.
Nevertheless, you would benefit from the following thought process.

Spread: How is your innovation spending spread? Try bucketing them as Capital cost of R&D infrastructure, Full time R&D people, Maintenance of R&D infrastructure, Outsourced services cost, Cost of promoting innovation culture, and the likes.

Means: What are you means of achieving innovation? Try bucketing them as Market research led, Perceived customer needs, Customer complaints based, Innovation team driven, Driven by employees who are not part of innovation team, Co-creation using external talent, Open innovation, and the likes.

Types: What types of innovations are you focused on? Try bucketing them as Disruptive or Break though innovations, Significant improvement of product or a service, Small but iterative improvements, and the likes. Additionally irrespective of what you offer, you could surely have service innovation as one bucket. You should try to map your innovation objectives of just being in the game to penetrating the new markets to the type of innovations underway at your organization.

For above 3 categories and the respective buckets, arrive at individual targets for your organization. You metrics could then become to not deviate too much for an extended period from the set targets. Setting the right targets would play very important role, however this would primarily be driven by DNA of your organization.

Tracking sheet could look something like below.

Note: The numbers in the table above are for example purpose only.

The most important thing is you are now thinking your innovation spend Vs. Innovation results, that, by far could be the most important take away from this post.