Getting an Innovation Program Started

We’ve collected more than 25 research reports, case studies, peer advice pieces, presentations, and conference call recordings especially for people just putting an innovation program in place. These are our most helpful resources on setting strategy, building the team, ensuring widespread support, and putting in place a way to measure progress — without making rookie mistakes. And if you’re still trying to make the case about why innovation is something your company needs, check out our presentation, “The Innovation Imperative.

  • COVER - Benchmaring 2018

    Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018

    Innovating inside large organizations is not easy. So how do you deliver concrete, tangible impact — over the short-term, medium-term, and long-term? Innovation Leader and KPMG have collaborated to create the go-to resource on corporate innovation, based on detailed survey data and interviews with senior executives at Whirlpool, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Southern Company, General Motors, and more.

  • COVER - Hiring

    How Innovation Teams Bring on Top Talent

    This report explores how companies are getting the budget they need; describing the roles they’ve created; and more. It also includes more than 20 recent job descriptions.

  • COVER - Metrics

    Untangling Innovation Metrics

    Measuring innovation has come up in every interview, conversation, and Field Study. This report captures what we’ve learned so far — both what executives are tracking today, and what they’re still working to capture.

Foundations Index

Sign up for Innovation Leader’s five-day email program, which we call “Foundations.” Who’s it for? Anyone who has responsibility for “making new stuff happen” in a large organization. It’s most useful if you’re in the early stages of putting together a team and strategy, drawing up blueprints, and working to get the right people involved. (Say, the first one or two years of an effort.) Each email you get includes a question to think about, or a quick exercise you can do.

Looking to understand your CEO better, bring customers into the development process, or work more efficiently with legal and compliance groups? Our “IL Confidential” video series brings you insights from innovators on a variety of topics.

Our most recent videos feature insider advice from Nondini Naqui, an intrapreneur and innovation leader who has worked in insurance and banking.

Elon Musk Slide

This 2017 presentation collects some of the best advice we’ve heard on getting an initiative going; some of the choices that you’ll face; some of our survey data about average maturity or sophistication of innovation efforts at large companies; guidance on what to measure; powerful CEO quotes on the value of innovation; things that can prove fatal to innovation programs; and examples of companies doing it right. It’s ideal for someone just getting started in an innovation role, making the case for sufficient resources, or working to get a program off the ground.


Innovation Leader has partnered with XPLANE, the renowned “visual thinking” firm, to create a series of maps and guides that highlight some of the key choices and challenges in corporate innovation, including:

  • Understanding the ecosystem inside and outside of your organization
  • Measuring progress
  • Understanding where you are now on the innovation journey

With seven labs across the globe, the media and information giant Thomson Reuters has a larger network of innovation labs than most companies.

Mona Vernon, Chief Technology Officer of Thomson Reuters Labs, discusses goals, people, governance, and the relationship between a lab and the core business. Vernon also touches on the question of where to locate an innovation lab.


Kennametal: Our governance council

MetLife: Surviving the innovation danger zone

Deb Arcoleo of Hershey’s: Innovation imperatives

Brown Brothers Harriman: Innovation briefing


In collaboration with several Innovation Leader members, we’ve developed a new template that we call an innovation roadmap.

The goal was to create a high-level map of the elements of any effective innovation effort, from spelling out the vision to forging partnerships to monitoring results. We also wanted to keep it simple — something that you could start to fill out at the earliest stages of an effort, and modify it or add to it as you progress.

We’ve also created other other templates, spreadsheets, and slide presentations on common barriers to innovation; different types of innovation labs; and how you can make a strong case for innovation.


Spigit: Six Ways to Create a Successful Innovation Program

Moves The Needle: Practical Tips, Tactics and Stories

Imaginatik: The Four Types of Innovation Metrics

Idea Scale: A Four-Week Innovation Program Workbook