Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sizing up Innovation

Towards an "Innovation Scorecard"

Innovation has emerged as a vital ingredient for building prosperous businesses, generating greater societal wealth, raising individual well-being, and improving the human condition. One illustration of just how important innovation has become is that the US government (the Dept. of Commerce, to be exact) is now trying to put in place a framework to measure innovation at the firm-level, as well as the economy-level. The endeavor, christened "Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century", is led by a committee that the US commerce secretary has set up. This committee has also invited public comments on how innovation can be measured.

I have given my comments, in essence opining that given the complexity and multi-faceted nature of innovation, it is unrealistic to expect that innovation can be reduced to one single measure. Instead, I have recommended that innovation be measured by means of an "Innovation Scorecard", consisting of the following dimensions:

- Commitment to Innovation
- Innovation Output
- Market Success
- Culture of Change
- Collaboration

Along each dimension, a set of simple, easy-to-measure metrics are then defined.

Read what the committee is trying to do on it's website,, or read my comments directly by clicking here.