Innovation is more important to business success than ever. Shortening product lifecycles, the pace of technological breakthroughs and global competition have served to place a premium on companies that can innovate.

Yet, while 80% of business leaders say that innovation is a top-three priority for their business, only 30% believe that their organisation is good at it.

There are many barriers to innovation success and managers must work on their organisation’s entire ‘innovation system’ if they are to consistently turn good ideas into profitable growth.

A good starting point is to understand your performance across a range of factors. I’ve set out below 10 questions, which I’ve called The Innovation Strategy Test. Take the test yourself, but also invite your peers, operators, managers and leaders from across the organisation to take it, too.

Once you’ve done that, review the results and start an organisation-wide discussion about the key issues and opportunities. That way, you’ll build the alignment and engagement to take real action to address the most important innovation barriers in your business and to dramatically increase your chances of delivering future innovation success.

Here are the 10 statements. Using a scale of 0-10, rate the extent to which you agree that each statement applies to your organisation (where 0 = fully disagree and 10 = fully agree).

Good luck!

The Innovation Strategy Test

  1. We have defined our innovation priorities around our best view of the future needs of our customers and markets
  2. We have fully aligned our innovation priorities with our strategic priorities
  3. We are clear on the overall mix of innovation – incremental vs. step-change vs. disruptive – we are pursuing
  4. We have set clear performance standards for our innovation initiatives and identified KPIs to track progress
  5. We regularly review the performance of our innovation projects against our agreed KPIs and reallocate investment accordingly
  6. We have embedded organisation-wide processes to develop and deliver our innovation projects
  7. Our managers and our people understand the innovation strategy and their role in delivering it
  8. Our culture and performance management systems support and enable innovation behaviours
  9. We have defined the talent, skills and capabilities required to both lead and deliver innovation
  10. We actively develop the skills, behaviours and capabilities needed to improve innovation performance

© Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.