6 in 10 Innovation leaders I interviewed recently consider the short-termism of their organisations' commercial model to be a key obstacle for them to be truly innovative.
Having to show for quarterly or even monthly (financial) results does hinder innovating as it does not facilitate a substancial and focused idea generation process, nor does it support a multi-functional team to drive the ideas' funnel to fruition on a level playing field. Asking "How much revenue does it generate?" is an absolutely valid question; It however needs to be asked at the right time and as part of a varied and goal-leading set of questions, quite early on in the innovation process. In fact, I use this question at the very beginning
as one of several assessment questions, when evaluating new ideas before transitioning them into the idea development funnel ('Idea Conversion'). It is of paramount importance to allow only those ideas to be further developed that have visible benefits to the organisation, be it revenue and profit but also intangibles such as improved employee engagement, organisational learning and closer internal networking. Additional benefits can be achieved with better processes or increased customer satisfaction. So it is not all about the bottom line!