Organizational innovation requires discipline. And like any other discipline, it requires monitoring and training to make sure that you’re on the cutting edge of your capabilities. But what skills should you focus on building and how can you track your progress?

Here are the ten main skills associated with innovation health at an organization:


How are you working to encourage collaboration and celebrate failure? It’s one thing to say you care about innovation as a core value and something else to find ways to encourage and imbue it in your culture.


Is there buy-in in innovation and positive change from your senior leaders? The rest of the company will take its cues from the leadership. What are the values that they see at the top?

Employee Engagement

How are your employees sharing ideas and are they incentivized to participate in the innovation life force of the company? Innovation is now something that everyone should feel responsible for.

Skills and Mindset

Training and communication with your entire team is important. How are you empowering everyone at your organization to think like an innovator?


Sometimes the best ideas for mobile development can come from the legal department or the best ideas for marketing can come from the accounts team. How are you facilitating sharing across departments?

Emerging Trends

The world is changing at a rapid pace. What is your organization doing to capture new trends and respond to them?

Goals and Tracking

It’s all well and good to say that you’re innovating, but how do you know if it’s working? Has your company defined KPIs to measure innovation progress?


Do team members report on their progress and share the results of their innovation experiments? Both successes and failures need to be shared.


Inspiration is easier than implementation. If everyone has great ideas, but none of them see the light of day then you’ll never keep pace with competitors and the rest of your organization will lose faith in their ability to create positive change.

Open Innovation

Your network of ideas is larger than the boundaries of your organization. Are you looking for fresh ideas from your partners? Your customers? How are you reaching out to them?

If you’d like some tactics to help hone your organizational fitness, download this complimentary white paper about innovation fitness here.

By Rob Hoehn

About the author

Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.