Innovation Accounting 101: Measuring Innovation Progress And Reporting on Innovation Investment

Dan Toma & Esther Gons

Co-authors of The Corporate Startup & Innovation Accounting

as recorded on 5 May 2022 as part of Innov8rs Unconference

The uncertainty associated with innovation needs to be managed. Yet in order to be able to manage something, it first needs to be measured and understood. Unfortunately, traditional financial accounting metrics have not evolved to address the needs of innovation management. Therefore, organizations often revert to using lagging financial indicators. While these might be useful indicators for the core business where the degree of uncertainty is small, for innovation they feel like trying to steer a car on a highway, looking in the rear-view mirror. This is due to the fact that the results occur far too late in the idea’s life cycle to inform its actual development. Thus, an innovation accounting system becomes a mechanism for evaluating progress when all the metrics typically used for mature businesses are effectively zero. Esther Gons and Dan Toma, co-authors of the new book Innovation Accounting, share how you can measure the progress an innovation team is making and communicate all the investments in innovation to your executives. You will learn how to define relevant metrics and the layers of abstraction needed in a company-wide system for Innovation Accounting.

About the speaker

Dan Toma is an innovation thought leader and the co-author of the award winning book 'The Corporate Startup’, awarded ‘Management Book of the Year for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ by Chartered Management Institute and The British Library in 2018. Puzzled by the questions ‘why are innovative products mainly launched by startups?’, he focuses on enterprise innovation strategy - specifically on the changes blue-chip organizations need to make to allow for new ventures to be built in a corporate setting. In this capacity he worked with companies like Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Bayer, John Deere or Allianz. Dan was featured on the Thinkers50 2020 Radar list of management thinkers to watch and he’s also a member of World Economic Forum’s working group on accelerating digital transformation. Esther Gons is the founder and CEO of GroundControl. GroundControl is innovation software to create, manage and measure your innovation ecosystem. The platform focuses heavily on innovation accounting and helps corporate startup teams with the development of new business models. GroundControl works with clients such as Schiphol Group, DHL and ABN Amro. Esther is author of The Corporate Startup and The NEXT Canvas and is an international speaker on topics of corporate innovation, innovation accounting, entrepreneurship, and startups. She has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years and mentored over several hundred startups so far, e.g. as investor at NEXT Startup Ventures, lead mentor in the Rockstart Accelerat

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