Factor 24: Perception of Innovation Changes

This factor deals with the perception of innovation as increasing or decreasing.

Factor extremes as measured in survey:

People in the company perceive that innovation success is decreasing


People in the company perceive that innovation success is increasing

Overview to restructuring initiatives

Perception is what people believe whether the perception is backed up by actual data or not. Opinions on innovation may vary depending on the source of the information. Users or customers, suppliers, employees, senior managers, stockholders or the Board may all have varying opinions. Tapping into these opinions is a worthwhile test of the company’s reputation. At the same time, disseminating information that clearly indicates progress (where progress takes place) on the innovative front is highly desirable. The existence of a sense of forward motion is an incentive to do more.

Possible Initiatives to Modify and Improve the Culture for Innovation

Establish an innovation time line on the internet web site

Many innovative companies take the time and effort to set out, on the company’s internet site a time line covering historic innovations that have taken place. The time line communicates the importance of innovation as a tradition in the corporation and also provides a measure of how innovation has unfolded over the corporation’s history.

Consider establishing an innovation budget

Establishing an innovation budget, which could be off-line to the annual planning process, and comprised of all the new initiatives that the corporation is undertaking, is a useful way of drawing attention to the subject of innovation.

Measuring the progress of innovation in general can be expressed in a time-line making reference not only to new product introductions but also to the vast array of innovative initiatives undertaken by the corporation. Making this information available over the internet as well as in published material is currently practiced by many corporations.

Measure the progress of innovation

Many innovative companies have as their objective a percent of sales volume that derives from new product introductions. This can be relatively easily tracked and reported upon. Other initiatives, which are equally important, as compared to new product introductions, require more subtle measures. Overall, an attitude survey of employee perceptions or indeed customer perceptions can be useful as a cross check on ones own perception as to the innovation dynamic. Negative perceptions would require immediate corrective action.

Communicate innovation progress

Important innovations, small and large, product and process, should be made the subject of more pronounced information dissemination. Tracking the early and developing projects related to new innovative initiatives and making this generally available can contribute to a sense of momentum in the corporation.