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 InnoLead and underwritten by Planbox.

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