I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about dashboards that show the current state of innovation in an organization (and interface with many other facets of the same thing such as product development). One of our clients is a large consumer goods company who have a sophisticated innovation process, that delivers. While there is always something that can be done better, this process works pretty darn well. The question though in such a well running process is what metrics are useful on a daily, weekly etc type basis that you would measure on an executive dashboard. Another big question is what useful information does that give you that you didn’t have before, and how can that improve the quality and/or speed of a decision.

While there are some obvious answers such as status of budgets, actual vs potential value of an innovation, and size of pipeline, my focus has been on aspects like velocity of the pipeline, acceleration potential and integration with other metrics in the organization such as customer satisfacation (for feedback) and organizational capability – in terms of resources and skills required at that time.

Its pretty fascinating and deep stuff; I enjoy looking at the systematic potential of innovation processes and how that plugs into an organization as its growth engine… More thoughts at a later date – but if you have some ideas or comments to share I’d be most interested.