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Are Your Innovation Investments Paying Back?

Perhaps you're not measuring and managing the right things. If your company is still caught up in the decades-old "sales % from new products" quagmire, you need better metrics. What's wrong with "sales % from new products" as a measure of innovation? The same thing that is wrong with pushing R&D investments down to whatever projects barely clear the hurdle of "new product" and the same thing that is wrong with killing a product that owns the market and has a ridiculously high margin. The popular, but misguided "sales % of new products" drives both of these negative behaviors and reduces your R&D return on investment. 

  • A metric such as "margin growth over sales growth" backed by the following measurable actions including:
  • Patent or idea diffusion (not the number of patents, but how good they are)
  • Portfolio balance based on cash flow and payback 
  • Portfolio rate of return 
  • Customer value to feature match 
  • Early phase research decision autonomy

will drive better returns on your innovation investment. Check out Dr. Robert Tucker's tips on improving innovation metrics.