The first step to innovation success
So, while CEOs and executive teams continue to demand more innovation, they don't put the appropriate measurements and metrics in place, and they don't hold individuals accountable for innovation success. If it is difficult to assign one person for innovation success, but it is required to assign the task to somebody, who should get the task, the measurements and the requisite rewards or punishments. That's easy. Everybody.
If you want real innovation, then everyone who is (or wants to be) involved should be measured on it. This means from the drill press to the CEO lounge, everyone who has committed and expressed an interest is no longer an interested bystander but knows their work will be evaluated based on its innovation capacity. Now, I've got the attention of the organization.
Let's start at the top. Every CEO wants more growth, more differentiation. How can innovation provide those attributes? How can the work the CEO does impact innovation? Let's hold the CEO accountable. In each business unit or line of business, let's put several measures or metrics of innovation, especially tied to growth, differentiation or profits. If the heads of business units or product lines know that their evaluations and compensation are subject to success at innovation, guess what gets funded and staffed? Guess what gets their attention in a staff meeting. And if the division president or product line head wants innovation, he or she will find the staff and the resources to do it, and will hold those folks accountable as well.
It's difficult to hold one "CIO" accountable for innovation when he or she doesn't own or manage the assets or funds. However, we know that if no one is accountable the work won't get done. To create a real culture of innovation, measure everyone on their innovation efforts and inputs, throughout the entire organization. You'll have the commitment you need to succeed.