Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vital Signs: BCG's Measuring Innovation 2007 Survey

Boston Consulting Group's Innovation practice has some interesting insights to measuring innovativeness in their "Measuring Innovation 2007: A BCG Senior Management Survey":

The paper's summary is a companion to the 2007 BCG-BusinessWeek innovation survey and BCG's Innovation 2007 Report:
For most companies, innovation is the key to driving growth, shareholder value, and competitive advantage in today's global economy. But even at the best companies, up to a third of all innovation initiatives are draining valuable resources.

According to the most recent BCG-BusinessWeek innovation survey only 46 percent of senior management are satisfied with their return on innovation spending while 63 percent of chief financial officers are still unhappy with their innovation results. Innovation remains a top priority for 66 percent of respondents, and 67 percent are planning to increase their investment in innovation.

The problem these companies face isn't a lack of ideas—most of them have more than enough. It's that companies don't have a disciplined process for turning those ideas into cash. An effective innovation-to-cash process (ITC) is the foundation of successful innovation, which we define as profitable innovation.

For those seeking measures for their innovations, BCG learned that the most common measures used by organization to assess their innovativeness were:
  • Total funds invest in growth projects
  • Projected versus actual performance
  • Average development time per project
  • Revenue realized from offerings launched in the past three years
  • Allocation of investments across projects
  • Number of projects that meet planned targets
  • Cannibalization of existing product sales by new offerings
  • Percentage of ideas funded
  • Number of ideas killed or table at each milestone
In future posts, I plan to dissect the report and its recommendations in more detail.