Measuring Open Innovation
Although it is not always easy to anticipate the results of open innovation, it is possible to measure the process itself. It is important to do so for two reasons:
- It is important to evaluate ideas during the process to follow up on those emerging as possible solutions to the problem.
- Evaluation metrics can provide insight on how strong participation is and into which direction it is evolving. This allows taking necessary steps, such as more intervention. An evaluation framework helps setting goals and elaborate more before the process starts, and keeping track during the process. Furthermore, it shows you what resources are needed to create a broader open innovation environment. Here are examples for metrics:
- Quality of ideas – to which degree do they match a solution for a problem, do they include a sustainable concept, are they easy or difficult to implement, do they fit to the given criteria?
- Quality of dialogue – diverse, constructive, and creative comments and ideas.
- Diversity of participation – diversified skill sets among participants; different technical or professional backgrounds.
- Representation – the hierarchical levels that participants represent - lower, middle or upper management, or all of these.
- Number of participants versus the number of ideas – the ideas proposed match the number of participants.
- Number of votes – the voting result is representative of the total.
- Number of comments – the ratio of contributors to ‘lurkers’ and the ratio of ideas to comments.
- Number and frequency of website visits – number of times ideas were read.
About the Author
Christian Kreutz is an author, speaker, strategic advisor and expert in open and social innovation. He has been advising for over 10 years organizations such as the World Bank, GIZ, UNDP, Nesta, Deutsche Welle and the Bertelsmann Foundation, providing them with the necessary insights and tools to build their corporate innovation capabilities. As the director of Crisscrossed GmbH, he has developed various projects such as WE THINQ – a social software for change makers to empower citizens, employees and stakeholders to asses challenges and find creative solutions through new forms of cooperation. He believes in the power of transparency and holds the potential of open and shared knowledge as the foundation for sustainable innovation. He writes about his journeys on social innovation and the use of information and communication technologies centered on people on his widely cited blog www.crisscrossed.net.