Chapter 1

The Innovation Index

Questions Answered
  • Are creative people attracted to an organization like ours as possible employees?
  • Does our culture reward creativity and risk taking?
  • Do we hire creative people versus those who always follow the rules?
  • Do we have work processes for encouraging creativity?
  • Do we have multiple mechanisms for people to submit ideas for new things and improve old things?
  • How much of our financial success can be attributed to innovation?
  • Do we have efficient processes for operationalizing innovations and getting them to market quickly?
Why Is This Information Important?
If you look at most fields, the most successful companies in those fields are the innovators. Southwest Airlines is a true innovator in the airline business, coming up with a different strategy for an airline that remains successful years later in spite of many copycat airlines that have attempted to rip off their strategy. United has twice tried to come up with their own version of Southwest and both are gone. Remember United Express or Ted? United Express still exists, but it is no longer a direct competitor to Southwest. Coming up with a great and innovative idea is certainly a good way to start a new business, but it often does not take long for a competitor to come along and copy your product or approach. Bose is a company I worked with that is really good at innovation. Some of their products, such as the little cube speakers, the noise-canceling ...

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