Time flies when… Lots of ground covered in the fourth week of the Innov8rs Connect Unconference, welcoming 500+ cross-industry corporate innovation leaders and professionals from 50+ countries.

Here’s a glimpse of the conversations we’ve had.

How to Find Problems Worth Solving

In innovation, if you don’t focus deeply on understanding problems before solutions, you’ll be running into countless issues throughout the innovation lifecycle, often when you least expect it.

This is a “first principle” for innovation, argues Ash Maurya. We discussed about this and a lot more in last week’s Ask Me Anything with Ash during the #Innov8rs Connect Unconference. Why after all those years of doing innovation, isn’t this still not common practice?

Building Your Innovation Capability – How to Create and Capture Value From Innovation

Plug & Play created an evidence-based framework wherein they guide organizations through five key components of an effective innovation program – strategy, structure, resources, processes, and measurements. The framework will help you understand your organization’s position within its innovation journey and identify impactful focus areas.

In their session, Jennifer & Simon shared actionable insights to develop strong innovation capabilities and structure meaningful innovation initiatives.

Impact vs Vanity — How the Right Metric Makes or Breaks Your Big Idea

The best skill startup investors have is choosing the right metric. They know that return on investment is years away, therefore they must have the ability to track progress toward the return. If we can’t measure money and we can’t measure team productivity, what’s left?

In his session, Brant Cooper taught us the Value Stream Discovery Tool, a step-by-step process for determining the right metrics to focus on. It helps you to understand how to evaluate how customers behave throughout their journey, what tactics you might use to elicit that behavior, and how to measure their progress.

Additionally, the framework can be used to measure the progress of virtually any internal project, including innovation programs themselves.

Intentional Innovation

Developing an innovation pipeline demands a lot from an organization, with some of the most critical elements involving changes in leadership behavior.

Leaders need to set the stage with a clear strategy that guides product teams and internal startups. Leaders need to ask the right questions at the right time. And, leaders need to make decisions that balance emerging evidence with their legacy market knowledge.

Jonathan Bertfield discussed these elements using examples from a variety of corporate innovation ecosystems. In this clip, Jonathan shares the vital role growth boards can play in supporting this intentional innovation ecosystem.

Seeing Around Corners

One of the several challenges we’re trying to solve as a community during the Innov8rs Connect Unconference is the (absence of) support of senior leadership for innovation, especially in these times.

Here’s what Rita McGrath suggested. I love this idea of the “imagination premium”, a new metric which shows how investors are valuing your growth prospects.