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How to Increase Innovation through Management and Measurement


Introduction

Innovation is a hot topic in the business world. There has been a lot written about the importance of innovation and role of the CFO in creating a culture that encourages innovation rather than squelching it.1 What does not get discussed much is how to increase innovation through management and measurement. As the old saying goes, “You get what you measure.” So if you don’t measure innovation, you don’t get it! Yet nearly every leader, customer, client, or other constituent demands or expects the companies they work with to be innovative.There is a strong need for more innovation governance, including the leadership, measurement, tracking, and CFO competency needed to improve the level of innovation in organizations. In an IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) research survey of 271 accounting and finance leaders around the world, more than half of the respondents said their firms don’t measure innovation at all. Yet almost all felt their organizations should measure innovation success.2 Furthermore, three-fourths said their organizations must significantly evolve or reinvent their business value propositions at least every five years. For these reasons and others, most organizations need to make innovation governance a bigger part of their strategic management. The CFO is well positioned to lead and support this activity. This report presents the survey results and takeaways on how accounting and finance leaders can take an active role to increase innovation in their organizations. It also highlights ways to build a supportive culture, implement processes, and measure activities and outcomes that will help continually generate new ideas and create new value propositions that lead to increased profitability.