Developing Innovation Metrics & Reports That Really Matter


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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.

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.

This research project was produced by Innovation Leader and underwritten by Planbox.


Sample Data 



Table of Contents

Welcome Letter from Planbox 3

Executive Summary 7

A Necessary Evil? 8

Defining Terms 9

What Gets Measured Gets Done 11

The Right Metrics & Storytelling 12

Making the Transition...At the Right Time 13

7 Key Questions to Discuss 14

Innovator Perspective: Chick-fil-A15

Biggest Challenges 16

Innovator Perspective: CUNA Mutual 18

How Mature are Your Innovation Metrics? 19

Innovator Perspective: Bayer 22

What is Working Best? 23

Innovator Perspective: Fortune Brands (Moen) 25

Financial Metrics 26

Innovator Perspective: Rust-Oleum Corporation 28

Non-financial Metrics 29

Innovator Perspective: Tiffany & Co. 31

Emerging Metrics 32

How Frequently Does Your Team Report Metrics? 33

Innovator Perspective: The New York Times 35

The Magic Wand Question 36

"9-1-1, What Are Your Innovation Emergency OKRs?" 39

About the Respondents 40

About Planbox 44

About Innovation Leader 45