Commodore Essentials

Spotlight Guides

5 Evidence-based Practices to Increase Innovation Productivity

There are plenty of opinions on how to improve innovation practices—but most aren’t backed up with hard evidence. We reviewed recent high-quality research and identified five practices that have a proven correlation with better innovation performance.

For each practice, we summarize what the research says, how the practice improves innovation productivity, and what actions you can take. Check out what the guide says about: outsourcing innovation, competition, centralized versus decentralized innovation, long-term focus and risk-averse leadership

Consider Culture When Communicating About Innovation Performance

Your measurement system should include a communications plan that takes into account your corporate culture. This guide will help you identify your organization’s decision making styles and choose the methods that will work best for communicating about innovation performance.

Intractable challenges in innovation measurement

Three measurement challenges thwart even the most experienced innovation teams: measuring learning, estimating outcomes at the front end, and managing so-called “disruptive” projects. This spotlight guide will get you up to speed on each of these challenges—what makes them difficult, why they matter, and how to solve them.

Get more value from innovation with better measurement

When you’re actively trying to improve your innovation performance, high-quality measurement is critical, not just a nice-to-have. This short guide describes how the most innovative companies derive increasing value from innovation. Use it to pinpoint where you stand today, and what value you can unlock with better measurement.

Don’t underestimate the role of innovation measurement

Conversations about innovation performance measurement often start and stop at which metrics do I need to manage my innovation project? But that perspective underestimates the importance of measurement to both your innovation function and the company as a whole. This spotlight guide offers a simple model you can use to engage your stakeholders in a conversation about the role of measurement, and how you can all get more value from your measurement system.

A framework for measuring innovation

Commodore’s innovation measurement framework identifies the ten questions any good measurement system should be able to answer. The best metrics to answer these questions will vary depending on your specific context (and over time). See the guides below for guidance on choosing the right metrics for your organization.

"How to" Guides

Innovation metrics: a quick guide

This guide identifies the key innovation metrics you need to track the basics of innovation performance. What you need to measure varies depending on what level you’re operating at within an organization—so we include guidance for innovation leaders, innovation portfolio managers, and innovation project teams.

How to measure your innovation portfolio

This guide provides a step-by-step process to enhancing how you measure the innovation performance of your innovation portfolio. It helps you identify the internal “customers” for information about innovation performance and select innovation metrics that address their needs. Improving your innovation performance measurement systems is a critical step in enhancing your organization’s innovation performance.

How to communicate about innovation performance

This guide describes a straightforward approach to defining a communications plan for information about innovation performance. Communicating effectively about innovation performance is all too often overlooked. But a well-designed system can help you establish a common language for innovation measurement and basis for judgment among diverse stakeholders. It will improve your collective ability to evaluate projects, calibrate the priorities of different groups, and to steward the innovation function of your organization.

Research & Tools

Assess how your organization measures innovation

Done well, measurement provides the discipline and yields the sustained support your innovation function needs, to deliver exceptional results. But it can be difficult to get right. Take this assessment to find out how your organization is doing with innovation measurement, and get specific recommendations on how to improve.

Innovation dashboard survey report

This report, prepared in partnership with IRI*, analyzes how large companies use innovation dashboards as a tool to communicate about innovation performance. Based on a survey of IRI members and other large organizations, it covers who uses these increasingly popular tools, what information they communicate, and how they are set up and managed. It draws on a wealth of knowledge and experience: survey respondents collectively spend well over $10 billion/year on R&D and innovation.

* IRI (Innovation Research Interchange) is a large industry organization focused on enhancing innovation management practice.