Developing Innovation Metrics and Reports

Innovation Leader, a Planbox partner, surveyed 196 innovation professionals to shed light on how large companies are creating metrics and reporting approaches that work well.

Innovation Metrics and Reports

Innovation Metrics: A Necessary Evil

In too many organizations, the word “innovation” remains nebulous. “Being more innovative” is a hazy aspiration—not a clearly-defined objective. That makes trying to measure progress a fool’s errand.

When the “job” that you are asking innovation to do is well-defined and well-understood throughout the organization, measuring your progress is possible (though still not easy). And reporting these metrics to others is essential to maintaining support for your work—and growing your resources going forward.

Metrics are a necessary evil required to keep leaders and other groups in the organization at bay; to prove value created and return on innovation investments; and to tell a story that might get others off their backs. I think most innovation leaders would rather be left to their own devices and judgments, versus needing to report up the chain of command.” — Former Director of Innovation, $5 billion aerospace company

What The Data Shows

To shed light on how large companies are creating metrics and reporting approaches that work well, we surveyed 196 professionals in large organizations in the first quarter of 2021. Our team also conducted qualitative interviews with a handful of executives at companies like Bayer, Tiffany & Co., The New York Times, and CUNA Mutual Insurance to gather their advice and better understand how their approach to metrics had evolved over time.

Our data found that innovation initiatives only survive over the long haul if they eventually begin delivering on the impact metrics that truly matter to the C-Suite and key business unit leaders.