How to apply metrics to open innovation (OI)? That's the question we often get from our clients when they start to develop their open innovation capabilities. In order to provide an answer to this critical question, the following article will focus on the key findings of our Open Innovation KPI 2012 study. Based on this study, a metrics-based management toolkit has been developed, which provides the most relevant key performance indicators from the perspective of innovation managers, subject matter experts, and consultants.
Obviously, since innovation by nature is a non-routine, creative and unpredictable task, metrics might seem like something for the Controller-nerds, rather than a common skill that is central to the innovator’s DNA. And while many argue that too much measurement stifles innovation, it still remains key for the survival of every business. Assessing progress and measuring the impact of your innovation activities enables you to change your strategy before mistakes become expensive or great ideas are refused. While the development of innovation metrics in general is still an emerging discipline, there is absolutely no clear guidance on how companies should approach them in order to measure the success of their open innovation initiatives. Anyway, in these times of fast changes, there is actually a good chance that the ‘old’ systems you set out to measure innovation won’t match the challenge you’re going to face when piloting the new and emerging trends of open innovation.