Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Future of Food: Yuzu Eggs & Lickable Screens

Pantone’s [EAT] S/S 16

By Jen Hyde, Freshmade

Food has become everything. Everything is a trend. The everything bagel. Everything hummus. Sight, sound, taste, touch, memories, experiences. Everything.

Food today is a palette for fashion and design, a signature scent that transports you instantly. That cornflake crunnnnnch worth trademarking for a memorable brand experience.

The Foresight & Trends Future of Food Summit opened with an exploration of the world of food and macro/micro trends. Over the centuries, food has evolved from sustenance into many things: an art form, political statement, collaboration driver, emotional crutch, etc. In the future of food, food will continue to evolve.

A lot of strange and a lot of smart

The future of food is strange and unusual, but tech-savvy and smart. There's cockroach milk with magic crystals, algae oil, edible perfume, eggs that smell like citrus, veggie burgers that bleed like meat, and lickable screens. (Okay, not that last one. Not yet.) But there are smartphone scents.

Google has microkitchens built on human behavior. There are chopsticks and forks that measure your every bite. And socially minded organizations are working together to engineer a better food system.


What Comes Next

As for trends, there are several, says Tom Savigar of The Future Laboratory:

1. Regenerative Consumption
With manufacturers like Harper Macaw and Hanger 1 Vodka, consumption might become a force for good, creating six degrees of nudge to solve the world's problems.

2. Culinary Diplomacy
Food is a soft power that allows us to forge closer relationships with people. Like arts and culture, food is a catalyst for connectivity. The Sambel Exchange Project fosters a patchwork of memories by swapping sauces and stories across communities. Google Translate has a pop-up restaurant with menus in different languages.

3. Connectivity Connoisseurs
Companies are developing solutions around tech to enhance our life. Examples include spirits based on algorithms, a wine dispenser that learns and curates wines just for you, and a machine-learning RFID tea kettle. These inventions ensure you make no mistakes with guests.

4. Delivery-Only Dining
We live in a convenience culture, and convenience no longer means fast food or bad food. UberEATS, delivery-only restaurants, and David Chang’s Ando are reinventing everyday food.

5. Gastronomy Fetish
The language of food is becoming more erotic, with “momentainment” videos of people eating and hypersexualized commercials. #foodporn

6. Social Snacking
Restaurants are becoming only as good as they look on Instagram or Snapchat, putting added pressure on chefs to make food look even better than it tastes. For many millennials, the photos are more important than the food.

Stay tuned for more from the Foresight & Trends conference...




Friday, September 23, 2016

Don’t miss KNect365’s Fall 2016 Event Lineup!

Can you feel it? Fall is in the air, and so is conference season.

We’re excited to announce our fall 2016 event schedule of our Insights, Marketing and Innovation events produced for you to do your job better.  

Our goal through these events is to inspire, inform, and connect you with leaders from across industries to see, think, and act different.

Check out the full event lineup:

TMRE: The Market Research Event
Boca Raton, FL
October 17-20
Use code TMRE16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bjGsUg

Foresight & Trends
Miami Beach, FL
September 27-29
Use code FT16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2brD48C

Future of Food Summit
Miami Beach, FL
September 27
Use code FT16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bSbIIn

FEI Europe
Berlin, Germany
October 5-7
Use code FEIEU16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bmcbAW

LEAN Startup in the Enterprise
Hoboken, NJ
October 24-25
Use code LEAN16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bQEqJH

Back End of Innovation
New Orleans, LA
November 15-17
Use code BEI16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bjHn79

OmniShopper International
London, England
November 15-17
Use code OMNIINTL16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bjI943

ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts
Orlando, FL
November 15-17
Use code PW16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bEmcid

FUSE London
London, England
November 30-December 2
Use code PW16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bmdNuB

We hope you will join us at one of our events this fall!

Cheers,

The KNect365 Insights, Marketing and Innovation Team

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get your sales team on target with teaming science

By: Ciaran Nagle, Global Marketing Manager, OND LLC


As Hewlett Packard Enterprise has discovered, hitting your numbers is all about having the right talent in the right roles. Traditional recruitment can't achieve this. But a new science can help.

The sales team is the most important team in any business. If new customers are not being approached and sold to, it doesn't matter how good the service delivery, call centre or finance teams are. The company will flatline and eventually die.

A sales team that's fired up, isn't afraid to sell high value products and services and whose reps know how to turn a buyer's 'no' to 'yes' is worth more than money. Literally, you can't just buy a team like that. You have to grow it. And even after a lot of time and effort, there are usually as many misses as there are hits.

Which is why a lot of companies struggle, year in and year out, to hit target. This is not due to a lack of commitment by the management team. It's because it's been almost impossible, until now, to tell a) whether a particular candidate is up to the task, and b) whether they are the right candidate for that gap in your team.

Performance Management

Now there's a new science, teaming science, which can accurately answer both of those questions. Teaming science has been proven in top companies over the last 10+ years. It can accurately identify the natural strengths and talents in any individual and predict with complete precision how they will perform in your team. At a stroke it eliminates all doubt about the recruitment outcome.
There's a second major benefit of teaming science when applied to a sales team. That's the bit about knowing how to turn a buyer's 'no' to 'yes'. But that will have to wait for the next post. For now I need to explain the importance of natural talent in a sales any team.

Natural Talent and Employee Engagement

Deep inside our minds there is a layer of our make-up which has lain hidden for a long time. It is more fundamental to our being than any learned skills or qualifications that we build on top. These latter accomplishments are purely cosmetic.

We use phrases like 'my purpose in life' or 'what I was born to do' or 'I want to make a difference with my life' when we refer to this layer. The layer is our natural talent and it can be likened to six wild horses that are pulling us to achieve…something. Often it's hard for us to work out which direction our talent is pulling us in. But what is absolutely clear is that if our job role does not align with our talent, we become unproductive, disengaged and dissatisfied.

Talent Management

In order to be a successful salesperson it is essential to have a particular set of talents. Many people are attracted to sales because of the potential rewards. But if they don't possess the right underlying talent set they will never achieve what their intelligence and energy suggests they should. They will be constantly swimming against the tide of their own talent.

Teaming science can accurately identify whether candidates and current reps possess the right natural talents. If not, it doesn't necessarily mean they should be let go. Rather, teaming science will highlight roles where they will thrive.

But if candidates do have the right talent set, managers can hire them in full confidence knowing that they will be successful. They will also know exactly where to put them (new business, account management, networking, business development, sales management etc). Risk is avoided. This ability of teaming science to accurately predict the success or failure of individual candidates is unique. It is also 99.7% accurate.

Strategic Tool

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is a Fortune 50 business with thousands of sales reps globally. After implementing a program of teaming science for more than 300 of these reps, Steve King, HPE's General Manager, Technology Services, Americas said in 2016, "Method Teaming ( a proprietary form of teaming science) has been the most strategic and foundational element of success on every business and team transformation effort I have led over the past decade. There is simply nothing more important than having the right people in the right roles interacting effectively with others in a purpose driven way.  Method Teaming works every time, and there is nothing else like it in the marketplace."

Also in 2016, the first of HPE's sales teams to undergo a teaming science program achieved full year quota in only six months. (To obtain the full case study email i@methodteaming.com)

Sales recruitment, engagement and retention are too important to be left to intuition. That's why companies like HPE have turned to teaming science to build their sales teams. How much do you enjoy taking risks when recruiting?

About the Author: Ciaran was introduced to Method Teaming, OND's ground-breaking science for effective business team formation four years ago. Realizing that his marketing skills, honed at GE over 10 years, could help OND break out of their narrow client set (HPE, Big Four Consultancies) into the wider corporate world he was excited to become their world marketing head. He is based in London and can be reached at ciaran.nagle@methodteaming.com. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Removing Barriers for Idea Submission: Awareness and IP Protection

By: Steven Telio, Director of Product Management at ideaPoint

Barrier 3: Initial Awareness

“I did not know anyone was even looking for solutions to that problem.”

“I had no idea I could submit ideas directly to your organization since I don’t work there.”

The first step in getting people to participate in your innovation process and submit ideas, is to admit that you have a problem. You may be looking for possible solutions to a specific problem, sponsoring an organization-wide challenge, or more generally soliciting interesting or novel ideas. But, if your target audience is not aware of your innovation program, if they do not know how to submit an idea, if they do not know the process involved in submitting an idea, if they are unsure what will happen to their idea once it is submitted, they will never share their idea with you.

Mitigation: Broadcast your need – either to people within your organization and especially to those outside of it – and clearly communicate how people can participate, and what will happen to their ideas once submitted.


Barrier 4: Idea Ownership / IP Protection

“It’s my idea. Do I automatically own the rights to it?”

“What are my rights if I submit an idea? Who owns it? How can I track what is being done with it?”
Non-employees may be unwilling to part with an idea because they are unsure how the organization will use it, and what IP protections will be put in place to retain original ownership. Unless an organization already has a track record or reputation of credible and reliable attribution, others may be reluctant to work with them without putting a substantial paper trail in place.

It’s worth noting that IP which originates outside of the organization needs to be treated differently than native IP. Employees, as a condition of employment, are often required to agree that any of their inventions or innovations created while on the job are the property of the company. This applies whether the invention is created as a direct result of the employee’s responsibilities, or if it ancillary to their day-to-day role.

Mitigation: Be explicit about who will retain ownership over the idea and how it is being treated. Also be clear about what might happen to ownership as it progresses through the innovation pipeline. For example, a user may be asked to license their idea if the organization chooses to go forward with it. Academic institutions may assist with patent filing to ensure both the original inventor and the institution can rightfully claim access to the intellectual property. Regardless of the approach, strive for transparency.


This is the fifth post in a series of blogs titled “Removing Barriers for Idea Submission.” Each blog will address different barriers, and challenges that innovation programs are faced with. For further information about a software solution to streamline your process for gathering ideas and accelerating innovations, visit www.idea-point.com or contact Pat McWilliams (Patrick.McWilliams@idea-point.com)

Monday, September 19, 2016

The 6 Principles of Strategic Portfolio Management: Clear Communications and Learning

When organizations lack a value-based process to support strategic portfolio management decisions, they risk treating project/portfolio evaluation as an analytic exercise rather than as a collective conversation around value creation, supported by analytics. Because there is no inclusive process, they may not involve key stakeholders, resulting in lukewarm support for implementing decisions. Even worse, results may be used to blame, punish, or otherwise hold people accountable for performance when they have had little or no involvement in the decision-making process.


In their best-selling book The Smart Organization: Creating Value through Strategic R&D, SmartOrg co-founders David and Jim Matheson address the topic of “open information flow, “which directly relates to clear communication and learning. In a “smart company,” they assert that “Virtually all information is available to whomever wants it. Information is used in surprising ways to create value. The flow of information crosses functional boundaries. In such an organization, people feel safe in sharing what they know and feel obliged to contribute to information-sharing systems. They are excited about teaching and learning.”

The decision-making process in smart organizations is dynamic, following the principles of agile development, wherein the information that informs decisions is routinely updated to provide feedback to adjust decisions about further investment and changes in direction based on improved knowledge.
When a strategic portfolio management process is in place, results are used specifically to improve the project and develop a level playing field to support effective portfolio evaluation and management. Uncertainties are tracked and updated based on new evidence, and decisions are updated appropriately. Information is gathered as needed to fill information gaps.


This is the last in a series of blogs on The Six Principles of Strategic Portfolio Management. Subsequent blogs will address each of the six principles in detail. For further information about SPM processes and decision-support software, visit www.smartorg.com or contact info@smartorg.com

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Employee Engagement - The Lesson of the Terminator

By: Ciaran Nagle, Global Marketing Manager, OND LLC

Remember that great scene in Terminator II when Arnold Schwarzenegger (who's now on the side of the humans) has just been poleaxed by the Bad Terminator (Robert Patrick) in the steel foundry and his lights are about to go out? The existence of humanity depends on him getting up and pulling Bad T's head off. But he can't because his power source is all used up. All of his strength, his speed, his sharp wits and his determination to save the world are at risk because one tiny part of him, his battery, has given up.


Most corporations are a little like that. They have talented employees. They have top products and services. They have good clients. They have a solid partner network. But there's just one part of them that's given up: the employees. They can't be bothered. Yep, those top quality candidates who were recruited last year with fire in their eyes and a hunger to change the world have grown cynical and tired. Something's gone wrong. And as each one resigns and goes off to search for a better life in a corporation far away, line managers and HR wearily return to the task of plugging the gap.

But unless they can find a battery pack that works, in other words a better engagement strategy, the next recruits will fare no better than the last.

In the film, just as Arnie's eyes are dimming and Bad T turns to finish off mad heroine Sarah by switching off her lights for good, the camera shows Arnie's internal electronics searching for - and finding - an alternative power source. His eyes light up. Hurrah goes the audience, we know what will happen next. Ker-ching go the film's backers, another crowd pleasing - and highly profitable - project.

Corporations too now have a great reason to cheer. There's a new battery pack around that can turbocharge employee engagement. Just like Arnie's power source, it's based on impeccable science. But unlike Arnie's power source, it doesn't need to be the alternative strategy, it can easily be the main strategy. The new battery pack is teaming science and it's the talk of boardrooms around the world. It's achieving the apparently irreconcilable goals of both increasing employee productivity and making employees much happier. In other words, it's improving employee engagement.

Employee engagement is set to be the competitive battleground of the next 20 years. Process re-engineering, IT and total quality initiatives have come and gone. Victory will now go to organizations that can raise employee engagement to the 90% level from its current US average of mid 40%. And with its ability to meet the needs both of individuals and the teams they work in, teaming science is the employee engagement solution that is making a loud ker-ching sound in boardrooms the world over. This should come as no surprise. It's a crowd pleasing - and highly profitable - project.



About the Author: Ciaran was introduced to Method Teaming, OND's ground-breaking science for effective business team formation four years ago. Realizing that his marketing skills, honed at GE over 10 years, could help OND break out of their narrow client set (HPE, Big Four Consultancies) into the wider corporate world he was excited to become their world marketing head. He is based in London and can be reached at ciaran.nagle@methodteaming.com. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Removing Barriers for Idea Submission: Communication

By: Steven Telio, Director of Product Management at ideaPoint

Barrier 2: Ongoing Communication / Communication Plan

“Why is the organization soliciting ideas?”

“Because I don’t work directly for your organization, I want to know what’s happening with my idea. I’d hate to submit it and never hear about it again.”

“Will you be willing to share the results of the innovation process so far? Even with people external to your organization?”

Innovation programs have a history of launching with a bang and fading away with a whimper. Long-time employees or potential idea submitters from outside your organization who have seen this cycle before may be reluctant to invest their time and intellectual capital in a submission unless they know the organization has made a commitment and will actually follow-through. Sponsored Hackathons and IdeaFests, while great at creating buzz around the event, can strengthen the skepticism that an organization is not serious about implementing ideas when participants do not hear about the results nor do they receive any sort of follow-up after a submission has been made.

Mitigation: Provide ongoing communication about the overall goals and successes of the innovation program to everyone who participates, regardless of whether the person is internal or external to the organization. Use this as an opportunity to reinforce what is entailed in the process, and details about the process itself. Dramatize the successes to encourage future participation.

• Once an idea has been submitted, use technology to facilitate decision making, routing items to the appropriate people and enforcing a stage-gate process, while enabling enough transparency for the submitter to know the status of their idea at any given time.

• Ensure the submitter has a way to check on the status of their submission. Where is it in the process? Has it passed a particular milestone? When is the next decision point? Better yet, through effective use of technology provide a single system which can provide a comprehensive view to the submitter. And be sure not to limit access to the system to only people behind the firewall; external participants need this access even more than internal ones, since the external submitters cannot simply ask someone within the organization.

• A beneficial side-effect of increased transparency: submitters will be confident that their idea is getting the attention it deserves. It also increases the likelihood that they will submit other ideas in the future because they have increased confidence in the overall process.

• When a submission does end up passing significant milestones, recognize that achievement, either by alerting the submitter, the organization as a whole, or the community in general. For example, when an invention that was licensed from an external source then incubated in-house is ready to go to market, hype the fact that it was the result of a collaborative innovation process. Success breeds success.

• Finally, showing that the innovation process really does work and can have real-world, bottom line results will help ensure that the process itself can make a strong case for maintaining or increasing existing funding levels.


This is the fourth post in a series of blogs titled “Removing Barriers for Idea Submission.” Each blog will address different barriers, and challenges that innovation programs are faced with. For further information about a software solution to streamline your process for gathering ideas and accelerating innovations, visit www.idea-point.com or contact Pat McWilliams (Patrick.McWilliams@idea-point.com)

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Single Most Important KPI for Building Innovation Muscle

By: Tim Woods, VP of Marketing & Product Strategy, Hype Innovation

This post was originally published on Hype Innovation's Blog

The best literature on innovation all points to the same thing: innovation is highly uncertain, and therefore the best approach is to experiment and prototype, iterating until you find the right product/market fit, and conduct this iteration with the diligence of the scientific method. The advice is so consistent, yet when we look at innovation metrics, there is rarely any kind of KPI measurements around the details of experimenting and prototyping. Let’s look at why it’s so important, and what a KPI might look like.

Fire bullets, then cannonballs (Jim Collins)

In Great by Choice, Jim Collins describes the idea of firing bullets, then cannonballs. Very rarely is an innovation a big single shot, but rather it’s the outcome of many smaller steps that helped to calibrate towards that right outcome. When Apple moved into retail stores, they started with one shop, prototyping, firing bullets to see what hits; when they got it right they expanded, and became the most profitable per square feet retailer in the world.
What makes a bullet?
§  A bullet is low cost. The size of the enterprise determines what low cost means, a cannonball for a $1 million enterprise might be a bullet for a $1 billion enterprise.
§  A bullet is low risk. That doesn’t mean low probability of success, but it means minimal consequences if the bullet hits nothing.
§  A bullet is low distraction. It might be high distraction for a few individuals working with it, but for the enterprise as a whole, it’s very low distraction.
The behaviors you need to develop to be successful:
§  Ensure you are firing enough bullets. They should be low enough cost and risk to allow for many.
§  Resisting the temptation to fire uncalibrated cannonballs. Innovation is not about plowing money into big bets without the data to prove the investment.
§  Committing fully when ready: by converting bullets into cannonballs once you have the empirical validation.

Disciplined Experimentation (Govindarajan and Trimble)

In The Other Side of Innovation, authors Govindarajan and Trimble go to great lengths to describe how to organize yourself for innovation, and how generating ideas is the least difficult part. Execution on ideas is where you need to focus, and the fundamental ingredient is the ability to experiment in a disciplined way.
“In managing their ongoing operations, companies strive for performance discipline. For the innovation initiatives, however, they ought to strive for discipline of a different form: disciplined experimentation. Indeed, all innovation initiatives, regardless of size, duration, or purpose, are projects with uncertain outcomes. They are experiments.”
For an idea to mature, it must start with an experiment. Create a plan, with a scorecard, which explains the assumptions, and the data points you will measure. Formalize a clear hypothesis, in very simple terms, which states what you think will happen. Then find ways to spend a little, but learn a lot. Keep assessing the plan as you go, and allow formal revisions to the predictions you made.
“...the scientific method is the innovator’s indispensable friend … when running innovation initiatives, businesspeople need to behave more like scientists.”

Source: The Other Side of Innovation

The 5x5 Methodology (Michael Schrage)

In Michael Schrage’s excellent book, The Innovator’s Hypothesis, he believes experimentation is the difference between those that innovate, and those that don’t.
“Look carefully at the history of technology, entrepreneurship, or business innovation. A persistent pattern emerges. Successful innovators talk about ideas, but they invest their time, money, and ingenuity in expressive experimentation. Their competitive success comes from getting more value faster from expressive experimentation.”
Ultimately, what you’re seeking is insight, so that you can get closer and closer to an innovation; you want to buy a dollar’s worth of innovation insight for 50 cents, or 20 cents, or less. Fast and cheap, but an extremely high return on validated learning. His 5x5 methodology is designed to achieve this:
“Give a diverse team of 5 people no more than 5 days to come up with a portfolio of 5 business experiments that cost no more than $5,000 (each) and take no longer than 5 weeks to run.”
The results are then presented to a senior management board, and the best ideas get more funding to continue. The goal is to build a portfolio of experiments, but the problem is that most organizations just don’t know how to design or manage a portfolio of business experiments. The 5x5 methodology quickly gets you up and running.
Schrage provides extensive detail on how to run and measure the 5x5 method, along with compelling examples - it makes for tantalizing reading. It’s very easily attainable, and has enormous potential to build innovation muscle. But as he notes, big organizations find it incredibly hard to instill as a discipline:
“Creating simple, compelling, and readily testable business hypotheses is managerially unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unrewarding. So managers avoid them.”

The DNA of an Innovator (Dyer, Gregersen, Christensen)

In The Innovator’s DNA, business gurus Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen, analyze what makes an innovator. They define 5 skills that you need to master to become a disruptive innovator: Associating, Questioning, Observing, Networking, and .... Experimenting.
In their analysis they found that experimenting skills were significantly higher in innovators of all types, not just the start-up entrepreneurs, but also process innovators at large organizations.
Source: The Innovator's DNA
One of the many example innovators in the study is Jess Bezos, who puts the ability to experiment at scale at the heart of Amazon's innovation strategy:
“Bezos’s experience has taught him that experimenting is so critical to innovation that he has tried to institutionalize it at Amazon. “Experiments are key to innovation because they rarely turn out as you expect, and you learn so much … I encourage our employees to go down blind alleys and experiment. We’ve tried to reduce the cost of doing experiments so that we can do more of them. If you can increase the number of experiments you try from a hundred to a thousand, you dramatically increase the number of innovations you produce.”
To learn more about the five skills, and how to develop them, check this out.

Build, Measure, Learn (Eric Ries)

When The Lean Startup was published, it hit a home run. It nailed exactly the ethos and method for innovating in the 21st Century. Large corporates scrambled to figure out how to adapt it to their environment, and lean startup consultants appeared everywhere. The basic ideas are so simple and so effective though.
Generate a hypothesis, define a way to test it (build), define how you can strictly monitor it (measure), and define how to validate the results (learn). Then after each short cycle through that process, decide whether to persevere (do another loop with an adjusted hypothesis and new build), or pivot (move on to another hypothesis). It works for small incremental changes, and it works for whole product launches.
“The essential lesson is not that everyone should be shipping fifty times per day but that by reducing batch size, we can get through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop more quickly than our competitors can. The ability to learn faster from customers is the essential competitive advantage that startups must possess.”
“The Lean Startup works only if we are able to build an organization as adaptable and fast as the challenges it faces. This requires tackling the human challenges inherent in this new way of working.”
To see the 10 methods of the Lean Startup, check this out.


This is just a quick selection of some of the excellent literature out there, but many more exist which similarly stress the importance of experimentation, including The Innovator’s Method, Little Bets, and anything by Tom Peters (ready, fire, aim! And of course his ‘bias for action’ from In Search of Excellence).

Measuring Experimentation

So if experimentation is so widely regarded as the basis for innovation, why do we rarely see KPIs in place to track it? After all, what gets measured, gets done, right?
In the HYPE process, this is how it can be done. Let’s assume you’re using Idea Campaigns to generate high quality ideas, which target a known problem, with a sponsor who backs (and funds) selected ideas. Ideas are rarely ready for implementation right away, they need to be developed, or combined with other ideas, and then tested. This is where Concepts come in:


HYPE Enterprise process for full-lifecycle innovation management
With Concepts you can create customized processes and forms for managing the iteration and the evaluation steps. In the example below you can see a form included to track the iterations of a build, measure, learn cycle (Lean Startup). You capture the information for each iteration, then flag whether to pivot or persevere.


HYPE's Concept feature allows for configurable process steps and data capture
The two critical KPIs are then:
§  Number of experiments in my innovation portfolio (number of Concepts created)
§  Number of iterations through those experiments (cycles through the build, measure, learn cycle)
Seeing these numbers go up over time, gives you a direct pulse on whether you are building innovation muscle. Providing you are following the scientific method, and seeking out validated learning, not just experimenting with no rigor.
Supporting these metrics, you’ll also want to know more granular details about the portfolio, such as:
§  Number of experiments being run per "strategic innovation area," to show you the health of each major area you’re targeting.
§  Number of experiments by their status (pivot, persevere, or whatever other status you will determine for experiments).
§  Number of experiments per organizational unit / business division / department, to help you understand what areas of the business are "getting it," or struggling. Experimentation is not the exclusive domain of the innovation department, it should be part of the culture across the entire organization.
§  You may also want to measure the time to cycle through an iteration. As Eric Ries notes, the question is how fast can you get through each loop, so that you’re learning faster and moving closer to the right outcomes?
We’re still spending a lot of time thinking about number of ideas, number of participants, and other rudimentary KPIs. These are nice to know, but they don’t tell you anything about your progress towards a more innovation-capable organization. The back-end is where the true health of your program is measured, and for that, we must measure and promote the experiments. As Michael Schrage nicely puts it in The Innovator’s Hypothesis:
“Good ideas have nothing to do with good implementations … Implementation - not the idea - is the superior unit of analysis for assessing value creation. How organizations enact ideas - not the ideas themselves - is the soul and substance of innovation. More often than not, implementation ends up redefining both the boundaries and the essence of the original idea.”
Are you tracking how you experiment? I’d love to know.

About the Author: Tim is VP of Marketing and Product Strategy for HYPE Innovation. With a background in software development, Tim has worked in the Innovation Management space for over a decade, working on software and services solutions that support the innovation initiatives of some of the worlds largest organisations. Tim is passionate about how software can drive innovation results faster, better and more reliably.

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