You can’t manage what you can’t measure is a saying that most in the management world are familiar with. It symbolises the fervent desire of all in the organisational world to measure and gauge performances and progress. The thing is, performances and progress are inherently complex things that aren’t easily compressed down into one or two simple metrics that we can individually or collectively monitor.
So we tend to compromise and simplify until we get something that we can work with, but that is perhaps not the best representation of what is actually happening.
Whilst there may be much that is wrong with this form of measurement, this isn’t the topic for this blog. Indeed, having such boiled down forms of measurement can bring a focus to your endeavours that can be useful. What this blog is about however is more the measure used in your innovation team.
It’s very likely that the metric used primarily in the core of the business won’t be one of much use or relevance to the innovation team. When your team consists of members of both the core business and the dedicated innovation team however, such crossover seems inevitable. As conversations develop, undoubtedly things will gravitate towards the metrics and how the project is going, which means metrics.
These conversations are likely to have a big impact on how the innovation team performs their task, so it’s crucial that you quickly identify the metrics that will matter to the innovation project and measure performance accordingly. That way, you’ll ensure that the team are working towards what matters to them, and not to the divergent goals of the core business.