TIP: What to do when you lack measurable returns

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No returns, no investment. This is an obvious leadership decision and, as such, many in progress idea management programmes have been shut down. The corporate cemetery is full of initiatives that failed; their ghosts haunting the same corporations whenever someone wants to relaunch. So how do you make sure that your innovation initiative does not wither?

Insight: ‘The majority of companies are dissatisfied with their innovation-measurement practices. Only 41 percent of respondents said that their company is measuring effectively. Customer satisfaction and overall revenue growth are the two main gauges that companies use to determine the success of their innovation efforts.’ (Senior Executive Innovation Survey, BCG, 2010)

Don’t forget: Quick-wins are still wins
When launching or re-launching an idea management effort be sure to capture every single win at the beginning of the process. This might include an incremental idea that has gathered a lot of enthusiasm, a significant level of participation or simply the fact that you have launched the initiative successfully.

Every small win is a win. It must be made visible to the organisation and its leadership.

In the words of Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, ‘People tend to see innovation strictly in terms of revolutionary, breakthrough products… That’s fine. But most innovations are the results of steady, continuous improvement.’

Don’t wait for big results to start showcasing your effort. Do it now.

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder / pcc@exago.com

FROM THE START: Innovation looks easy – it’s not

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