Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2018

Innovation Leader and KPMG have collaborated to make a great report on corporate innovation, based on survey data and interviews from more than 270 global companies. You may download the report here.

It is a highly recommended and worthwhile read. In what follows, I have pulled out a few things from the report that I find particularly interesting.

Innovation Maturity – Most Companies are Still Teenagers

Many companies are still in the early steps of innovation management. In terms of innovation maturity, these 5 levels are used:

  1. Ad Hoc – Typically early-stage and isolated initiatives, with few formal processes.
  2. Emerging – More organized innovation efforts, with a higher profile throughout the organization, and with more formalized processes.
  3. Defined – Innovation programs are more strategic and linked to customer-focused or business-driven objectives; more standardized processes, and intentional training and communication.
  4. Integrated – Truly mature innovation programs, with funding and formal links to business units. Innovation portfolio integrated with corporate vision; tracking and implementation of outcomes.
  5. Optimized – The “nirvana” of innovation programs. Innovation is repeatable, scalable, and pervasive. Employees are empowered to innovate, and the impact of the innovation program is essential to the brand, culture, and enterprise value.

Almost 60% of companies report their innovation maturity as “Ad Hoc” or Emerging”

According to the report, this number has not changed much since a similar survey carried out in 2015.

Develop Your Strategy With Innovation Maturity Models

Many other maturity models exist, you may e.g. have a look at the material from Planview here. Planview also uses 5 levels, based on people, process and tools.

Another great model is the Innovation Stack by Steve Blank. This model is interesting because it gives insight into how you can move your innovation programs from isolated activities with no impact (also termed “Innovation Theater”) to fully integrated programs with measurable deliverables.

A third innovation maturity model/framework is the Innovation Matrix from Board of Innovation. This model helps you to find the innovation strategy that fits your organization.

You may also assess your organizations level of systematic innovation by taking our survey, or by downloading the IMS questionnaire. If you want a hands-on experience of your innovation readiness, you may involve your people in an INNOCULTURE session. INNOCULTURE is a board game, based on the European Innovation Management Standard. The game is especially useful for SME’s.

A Major Shift Towards Adjacent and Transformational Innovation

Three types of innovation are used in this report:

  • Incremental Innovation = improving existing products/services, e.g. Coca-Cola’s local flavor launch.
  • Adjacent Innovation = to leverage the company’s expertise in a new way, e.g. Nike’s ”NikePlus” membership program.
  • Transformational Innovation = entirely new products, services, business models, e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS).



Today, respondents are dedicating more than 50% of their time on Adjacent and Transformational innovation.
Previously, only 30% of the time was spent on this.

The conventional wisdom, which says 70-20-10 now has shifted to 50-30-20 (approximately) – this is a big shift, and a wake-up call to the companies stuck in the conventional wisdom. Companies that are underinvesting in Adjacent and Transformational innovation may have a serious strategic disadvantage.

Innovation Obstacles: Politics, Culture & Lethargy

Below you see the top 5 list of obstacles from the respondents. I have noted with stars the obstacles that we can help you overcome.

Consider these questions:

Want to create alignment in your leadership team?

Want to develop your innovation culture?

Want to develop and visualize your innovation strategy?

Contact finn@finnkollerup.com to overcome your innovation obstacles.

Innovation Enablers: Leadership, Iteration & Teams

These are the top 5 innovation enablers. Again, I have I have noted with stars the enablers that we can help you strengthen even more.

Consider these questions:

Want to test your prototypes with a Design Sprint?

Want to develop your innovation team?

Want to develop and visualize your innovation strategy?

Contact finn@finnkollerup.com and turbocharge your innovation enablers.

Innovation Tactics: Champions, Challenges & Incubators

According to the respondents, the Most Valuable Tactics for your innovation programs stack up as shown below. The two top innovation tactics are really somewhere we can provide value to you:


Consider these questions:

Want to increase your competitiveness through innovation champions?

Want to set up an innovation challenge program?

Contact finn@finnkollerup.com to improve your innovation tactics.