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Do you know the maturity level of your innovation management?

The maturity level of innovation management clearly shows how well the organization is able to drive innovation. How innovation managers can work effectively to ensure that the company gains innovative strength. 

Maturity models provide a sound analysis and elaboration of improvement measures for innovation management.
Do you know the maturity level of your innovation management?

Innovation management in the organization must also be constantly evolving. Management approaches as well as organizational and process structures are becoming outdated faster than expected, and innovation departments can no longer do what is required of them. The innovation management of your own organization should therefore be regularly put to the test and adapted to those rapidly changing requirements.

An innovative environment does not develop on its own, but must be actively created and cultivated. Innovation managers play a key role in this by taking the right measures to strengthen the company's innovative strength. In order to recognize which measures are required in your specific case, it is important to determine the maturity level of innovation management. Maturity models can help to analyze the current situation and identify potential for improvement.  


The maturity level of innovation management

Maturity models offer a structured and objective method for evaluating the current status of a company's innovation management. The status quo can be determined by analyzing various aspects that make up good innovation management. On this basis, innovation managers can derive a clear roadmap for improving innovation management. In addition, maturity models enable a comparison with industry standards and benchmarks in order to identify best practices and remain competitive.

What distinguishes immature innovation management from mature innovation management?

A company with immature innovation management often lacks clear roles and rules. However, this does not necessarily mean that no successful innovations can emerge. The possibility of invention exists even under such conditions.

In contrast, mature innovation management has defined roles and processes for various aspects, characteristics, and skills that are filled accordingly. A mature organization makes fewer mistakes and continuously improves.

Examples of maturity level measurement


Maturity model by Khan and Möhrle

One example of evaluating an organization's ability to innovate is the Khan/Möhrle maturity model:


Fig. 1: The maturity model according to Khan/Möhrle. Source: Lecture "Innovation management in the energy industry" by Prof. Möhrle at the Lead User Symposium of Hamburg University of Technology on January 28, 2016

We slice this model up along different planes. On one plane, we have the three aspects of strategy, control, and customers and the market; on the other we have different expanded topics, which are again divided up into subdimensions. The maturity of each dimension is divided into four levels.

At its core, the maturity model is about mapping a company's ability to innovate. With its modular structure, this model also allows only certain aspects to be evaluated. However, this also means that it may not be possible to benchmark with other organizations.

At Lead Innovation, we have also embarked on the path of measuring maturity levels. In my opinion, our approach offers particular advantages for large companies, as the underlying model and visualization are easier to understand and thus increase acceptance in the application.

Maturity levels and the innovation scorecard

The innovation scorecard is another way of assessing the maturity level of innovation management. The starting point for analyzing the maturity of innovation management is the house of innovation. It clearly illustrates the key dimensions for strong innovation management. A functioning innovation system is based on a culture of innovation and the necessary structures. The innovation process and methods in turn build on this. The innovation strategy forms the superstructure of such holistic innovation management, as it is also referred to. This model is also used for analysis and subsequent optimization with the help of the innovation scorecard. 

Step 1: The actual situation with the innovation scorecard

The evaluation of the maturity level of the four modules of the house of innovation – i.e. the actual situation – is usually carried out via an assessment by surveying the workforce and observation by external innovation experts. One success factor here is to collect as broad a picture as possible. Employees from a wide range of hierarchical levels and areas are surveyed for this purpose. 

Step 2: Analysis of the results and the innovation dashboard

The results from the innovation scorecard survey are then carefully evaluated and incorporated into the innovation dashboard. Here, the findings are visualized and processed in order to obtain a clear overview of the maturity level of innovation management. The innovation dashboard serves as a central instrument with which the maturity level of innovation management can be improved in the next step. 

Innovation Dashboard EN before

Step 3: Benchmarking and maturity level improvement

Measures for improving the innovation score can be derived from the analysis of the maturity level in the key areas of innovation management and the results shown on the dashboard. It is important to start with those areas that have the greatest effect on the company's innovation performance. This decision is not easy, and the outside perspective of experienced innovation experts can be very helpful here. Even small changes in innovation management can improve the innovation score. 

Innovtion Dashboard EN after

Benefits and advantages of maturity models

Optimizing innovation management by means of assessments and maturity models involves a lot of effort, but it brings many advantages:

  • It is a systematic approach in which all relevant perspectives and aspects of innovation management are taken into account.
  • Facts can be used to identify the most powerful tools for optimizing innovation management.
  • It provides detailed insights into strengths, weaknesses, and potential.
  • Involving the workforce increases awareness of the potential for innovation management and commitment to the defined measures.
  • Both the actual status and the effectiveness of the measures implemented can be analyzed quantitatively. By regularly assessing the maturity level of innovation management, the effectiveness of the measures can be clearly tracked.
  • Many analysis tools based on maturity models also offer benchmarking. This allows you to compare your innovation performance with other companies. On the other hand, best practices can be uncovered where learning from the best is possible.

Conclusion and success factors for measuring maturity levels

The broad involvement of all functional areas and the commitment of top management are crucial for the success of work with maturity models and the implementation of change management measures. The effort required for the assessment with maturity models should be in relation to the benefits and focus on systematic improvement measures. A differentiated view of the results, taking into account the company-specific requirements, is essential, as is the involvement of external experts to avoid operational blindness.

Mature innovation management promotes the stability, competitiveness, and long-term success of a company. Clearly defined structures, processes, and a consistent innovation strategy create a solid foundation for continuous improvement and innovation. Companies with mature innovation management can adapt flexibly to market changes and remain successful in the long term. How we proceed with the Innovation Scorecard and the Innovation Dashboard is summarized again in this video: 

If you want to develop innovation management professionally, maturity models are the ideal tool. 


Daniel Zapfl

With his comprehensive experience in holistic innovation management, Daniel brings valuable insights and best practices from various industries to your innovation project. He boldly and disruptively challenges conventional ways of thinking. As a TRIZ-certified sparring partner, Daniel will support you with creative solution-finding in a reliable and structured manner. More critical than the most discerning customer, he always has an eye on the big picture.

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