Most talk about innovation reminds me of the 90's pop band Milli Vanilli, who in 1990 was stripped of their Grammy for lip syncing. Anyone can say they're innovative and everyone knows that they need to be innovative, but simply paying lip service to the word "innovation" is hardly enough to make it so. You have to make a conscious investment in innovation for it to pay off repeatedly. Anything less is just innovation karaoke!
So, wouldn't it be nice if you at least knew how well you were doing in comparison to other companies when it comes to fostering innovation? Well, you can, and it will only take you about three minute at most to do so.
Your Innovation Quotient
Nearly 20 years ago I began looking at the behaviors and capabilities needed to sustain innovation. I desperately wanted to find out what it was that made an organization innovative because so much of the buzz around innovation seems to simply anoint certain companies with the vision and charisma of an innovative leader or culture. There had to be more to it.
At the time I was working with hundreds of organizations from Intel to P&G, Nomura to NASA. They were a diverse lot and covered the entire spectrum of industries, from F500s to startups, and government agencies. However, over time, it became clear to me that the underpinnings which supported innovation in all of these organizations were amazingly consistent.
As I learned what drove and sustained innovation, as well as what prevented it, I decided to develop an assessment tool that would help companies better understand their own innovation capability. The assessment was based on the behaviors, attitudes, and most importantly the systems and processes in place among great innovators.
The result was what I call a company's Innovation Quotient--a single number that illustrates the inherent ability of an organizations to sustain innovation by having the right foundation in place for it to thrive. The full assessment is pretty deep, including seventy specific questions and metrics that look at everything from financial performance to hiring practices and the attitudes of leadership. (My book, The Innovation Zone, covers this in much more detail)
I'm not going to ask you to trudge through 70 questions! However, by answering only 12 of these questions I can give you a fairly accurate sense for how your company compares to over 6000 respondents who have already taken the assessment.
This simple test provides insight that will help you to better understand some of the areas where your own organization has inherent innovation strengths and weaknesses. But it also gives you a quick litmus test on how comparatively innovative you are.
Just one caveat before you take the test; be sure to pick the company or organization that you will be answering for. If it's for you as an individual that's fine, but don't mix and match your best of breed, or worst case scenarios, across multiple companies. That would be like administering an IQ test to a group of individuals who have not connection to each other; it's not very meaningful.
What's Your Innovation Quotient?
(leave blank if you are not aware of three such tools.)
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We're ready to show you your personal results. You DO NOT have to provide contact info to get your personal results. However, if you would like to see the aggregated results and your percentile rank against all respondents (only from the link in the Inc.com article) enter your email and we'll send you the group results in a few days. All results are anonymized. We do not share, publish, or otherwise distribute any results with any personally identifying information (PII) such as individual names, emails, or any other data which may identify respondents.
So, how did you rank? Keep in mind that the 12 questions you just answered provide only a high altitude view of your company's innovative capability. Still, it's a pretty accurate perspective, especially if you find yourself at the extreme ends of the Innovation Quotient scale!
And, if nothing else, it will reveal if you can really carry an innovation tune or if you're simply mouthing the words.