Innovation Index

In reality you may innovate almost anywhere in the organisation. Innovation can occur at multiple levels and in different areas of the business. The broad areas of the business to consider are support, core business and leadership/strategy. These derive from Porter's Value Chain. Across these three areas you should consider what's driving activity. We see deliver, fix, service, improve and differentiate (be unique) as the drivers or business imperatives.

Most businesses use Information Technology to innovate for support first, then for core business and then for strategy and leadership. The effect of this is that there is little budget left for radical innovation or business transformation. Business process outsourcing (BPO) and software as a service (Saas) have allowed business model innovation to occur in so far as they can be used to adopt and implement standard best practices. The extent to which this really brings business innovation is limited. True innovation comes from applying new processes, creating new data associations and displaying these in unique and creative ways and in more current and useful places that enhance business efficiency and effectiveness.

Who was it that said, "you cant cut costs to greatness"? Yet many organizations fail to see that they spend 80% of their budgets on risk mitigation and by implication only 20% on innovation. Innovation drives revenue but if it is focused on deliver, fix or service rather than improve and differentiate then it really is just incremental rather than radical.

In our view the biggest inhibitor to innovation is the budget. We assess the focus of activity and budget in your organization to provide an innovation index that is aligned to your business strategy. If you budget annually you are missing the opportunity to keep aligned and to allocate the resources appropriately and timeously for innovation.

Critically this index needs to be embraced by the executive, it needs to be managed and maintained, just like a well executed strategy. It needs to be tweaked, analysed and tracked to provide meaning and identify business innovation opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses. Time series analysis of the Innovation Index will yield the best business innovation and creativity over time.

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