By Patrick Hearn

You have probably seen this many times. A sales presentation or corporate deck that describes how a company is truly a leader in innovation because it spends $$$ amount on R&D or it files patents more than others based on another company size. Perhaps it is a LinkedIn posting that highlights a new location that customers can come and visit. Maybe it’s a keynote at a conference.  

But is it innovation? Is the company seriously practicing and implementing strategies that ready them for what is a seminal change in our global economy?  Is Innovation used as a way to cut Opex or is it business developer?

Here are some quick tips/questions to help in making that determination 

  1. Who “owns” innovation in the organization? Good signs are when Innovation does not sit in one group but in all business leadership sections of the company. Not so good signs are when innovation sits under the responsibility of just a Human Resources Department or a Finance Department

  2. Is innovation explicitly put into the compensation plan of the C-Suite? Good signs are when it sits as a component of the bonus package of the CEO

  3. Is innovation tied directly to actual financial top line business objectives in terms of a 3 to 5-year plan? If it is only a soft objective then you should be standing at the shareholder meeting asking questions

  4. Is innovation sitting in the Top 3 of company strategic objectives?  

  5. When the organization conducts innovations sessions, do they use a “Before, During & After” process?  

  6. Can the organization tell you the differences between product development, R&D, and innovation? This is a question that must be answered in the same way by all “leaders” within the company.  

  7. How does an organization share its innovation strategy with its key customers? If it is done at a product launch or beta testing, chances are it is has confused innovation with product development.

  8. During your innovation and transformation circles, do you allow “tangents” to change the nature of initiative? If yes, then you are in synch with the business reality of today. If no, then you are waiting for the competition to eat your lunch. 

  9. Do your clients visit your showroom as an incidental component of your visitor or is it there to create business models that grow the strategic business relationship? 

  10. How do you integrate other industry verticals as part of your innovation strategy? If you don’t, chances are, you are simply echoing what your competitors are doing. 

There are many more tips, strategies and programs to help make Innovation driver of success. At Holistic Innovations we stand ready to make it a reality.  




Patrick Hearn