Innovation IQ

With all of the great innovation tools available, why does it still seem so hard to select and execute ideas?

Why, after sitting in a session where ideas were pitched for funding, do you walk away perplexed by what got funded and what did not?

Why, after projects get funded, do they seem to languish in project execution limbo, or veer off course, or crash and burn?

Because innovation is inherently emotional when it needs to be intelligent.

Why do we need innovation intelligence?

The problem with innovation is not a lack of good tools or methodologies. It is not a lack of enough smart, skilled, talented, and experienced people. It is not a lack of enough great thought leadership.

The problem is that people's emotions override their intelligence. The problem is that assumptions and guesses get treated like facts in the telling. The problem is that at any given point, there are multiple paths forward, which makes understanding and explaining next-steps difficult to communicate.

What is Innovation IQ?

Innovation IQ is the unbiased, objective, 30K foot view of a project.

  • It is an overlay to any system or process already being used to execute innovation.
  • It provides simple to understand, visual feedback regarding the knowledge that is present and missing from an innovation project.
  • It separates fact from fiction (also known as assumptions, assertions, guesses, hunches, and hypothesis).

Why is Innovation IQ important?

Making bad decisions based on poor information and emotion are expensive. They can hurt employee morale. They can damage company reputation. They can end careers. They can miss critical market opportunities.


Innovation IQ has 5 main components:








The Innovation Solution Cycle represents the most basic questions for any solution, whether externally facing to markets and customers or internally facing to business operators. These questions are the same regardless of project size or ambition (incremental to break-through).

Innovation IQ provides a visualization which represents the facts and fictions about the solution. Once data is captured and validation occurs for each question, green light (proceed) or red light (stop and pivot or stop and kill) indicators support decisions for the project's next steps.



To bring a solution to market requires grit, determination, and perseverance. However, these qualities also create self serving fictions and establish blinders to the "facts" facing the market landscape, unique competitive features, and whether or not the right team is present to execute.

Drawing from The Lean Startup, Crossing the Chasm, and Five Forces Analysis, Innovation IQ organizes key commercialization concepts into a visual dashboard. Like the Innovation Solution Cycle, red light, green light decisions are supported by research and validation and are represented in a dashboard visual format. 



The blind spot in innovation is the user. Whether or not a user tries, adapts, and finds value in a new product or process depends less on the actual benefit an innovation may produce, and more on upon social, psychological, and behavioral factors.

Innovation IQ looks beyond the idea that an existing customer or user poses low risk and a new user presents high risk. All users present risk for reasons that can be known and addressed.

Based on thought leadership from marketing, personal behavior, and social systems, Innovation IQ provides the most comprehensive user risk analysis found anywhere.



Technology risks get the most attention as feasibility is a primary driver on the Innovation Solution Cycle. However, there many keys to success that tend to get overlooked.

Does the project require a sponsor? Is the right team deployed? Is the right skill set present?

Innovation IQ provides a comprehensive look at all of the technology and capability factors that contribute to or impair success.



The easiest way to kill an innovation project quickly is to require complex and accurate financials. Value is the only meaningful measurement for a new innovation. But value can be achieved among multiple factors, financial and non-financial. 

Innovation IQ focus on value "buckets." Broad areas of value impact that the solution is intended to create. Over time, as the solution evolves, the exact impacts will become more focused. However, the Innovation IQ approach is intended to avoid abandoning a project too early just because value cannot be specifically calculated at the onset of a project.

Use Innovation IQ for Free

Innovation IQ (beta) is now available. Sign-up for the free account and manage up to two active projects. Upgrade to the Individual or Professional account for added functionality.