Regarding this final point, it would be good to see some proactive, and yes, innovative work by BI technology vendors to help with the process of defining these metrics and providing ways to monitor and manage performance beyond relegating the metrics to the "innovation and learning perspective" of the Balanced Scorecard. Two examples would the innovation process perspective of Egip, Software AG, and the radar screens of the Danish Patent Office IPScore. You can find useful discussion and examples of intellectual capital metrics in the Frame project of the Nordic Industrial Fund. (Scandinavia leads the way in the world of IC metrics.)
IPM is a big topic. I'll leave the last word in this column to the Washington D.C.-based Council on Competitiveness. The interim report of its national innovation initiative (published July 23, 2004), backed by a bunch of industry and academic luminaries, puts it this way: "Where once we optimized our organizations for efficiency and quality, now we must optimize our entire society for innovation." Now if that isn't a clarion call, I don't know what is.
Editor's Note: Channeling innovation into a process that becomes a manageable asset will be an important topic as organizations seek new levels of customer relationships, business execution excellence, and overall competitive advantage. Will BI, performance management, and enterprise application software be able to support this process? Look for recent and continuing discussion of this topic from Stewart McKie at www.IntelligentEnterprise.com/performance.
Guest columnist Stewart McKie is a technology consultant and writer who recently cowrote the book Innovation Performance Management: Principles | Processes | Practice (to be published in 2004).
Email the editors at [email protected]