Welcome to the EFQM Innovation Lens

Illustrating the activities, processes and culture that combine to stimulate innovation and encourage it to flourish

Get started on the EFQM Innovation lens today

It is now widely accepted that innovation fuels the majority of the world’s longterm productivity and economic growth - and that innovative firms significantly outperform non-innovators, in terms of both revenue and employment growth

World Economic Forum 2020

What is innovation?

What are the Essential Ingredients for a successful Innovation Programme?

Success will only be achieved in the long term if the organisation has the right mindset. This mindset recognises the importance of integrating the following essential ingredients:

  • Having a set of Values that nurture and enable Innovation
  • Having the desire to use innovation to meet or exceed customer expectations, driven by a deep understanding of what they want
  • Having the humility to readily collaborate with Key Stakeholders, both internal and external
  • Having the ambition and willingness to identify and implement innovative new ways of working, including the appetite to take measured risks and the patience required to innovate successfully
  • Having innovation processes embedded that support sustainability.
  • Having clearly defined measures of innovation in place and setting aside both time and budget to innovate

Why an EFQM Innovation lens

Innovation has never been more important. Properly understood and applied it can help any organisation grow faster, be more agile and unlock new forms of value. However, creating a self-sustaining culture of innovation can be hugely challenging.

At EFQM, we aim to help organisations improve their performance and to meet this aim one of our services is to offer data-driven, analysis-based tools to give organisations meaningful insights, empowering them in their journey towards becoming outstanding.

One such analysis-based tool is this Innovation Lens. Co-developed with the CforC and powered by EFQM’s AssessBase Digital Platform, it is designed to help organisations understand what innovation means for them and challenges them to focus on developing new products, services, solutions and ways of working to add new value.

It supports organisations in the development of processes that will enable sustainable innovation, provides a measure against which they can assess innovation performance and confirms evidence of innovative activity.

Most people when talking about innovation talk about ideas (which is an input into innovation) and Research & Development (R & D), which is an innovation output. The EFQM Innovation Lens looks at the area (which is often missed out) that links ideas and R & D and builds innovation into the fabric of the organisation — the innovation process or system.

It takes an holistic approach to innovation and underlines that innovation is not confined to R & D; marketing, processes and service, in fact all the elements of an organisation, can innovate.

Based on the systems thinking that underpins EFQM’s renowned Management & Assessment Model, EFQM & CforC have developed this diagnostic tool to help any organisations perform a gap analysis between its current competence in Innovation and innovative thinking when compared with what leading organisations deliver.

Because EFQM is also renowned for its rigourous approach to Assessment and Recognition, additionally, we wanted to provide the possibility for an organisation to seek external recognition for its efforts in the discipline of innovation and innovative thinking.

What are the Guiding Principles and the Structure of the EFQM Innovation Lens?

The EFQM Innovation Lens focuses on the activities, processes and culture that combine to stimulate innovation and encourage it to flourish. It represents a broad view of innovation and aims to measure tangible business impact (Results), in relation to an organisation’s declared Direction and the degree of success in Execution.

The EFQM Innovation Lens aims to improve innovative performance within any organisation, regardless of size, sector or maturity. Increasingly, organisations recognise that innovation is more than the development of new products, services or solutions. It is about creating a constant flow of new ideas, responding to new trends or changing market conditions, as well as improving the existing products, services and solutions.

Innovation is about engaging the whole organisation in the creative process and this Innovation Lens is designed to:

  • Help an organisation to understand what innovation means for it and challenge it to focus on developing new products, services, solutions and ways of working;
  • Support any organisation in the development of processes to enable sustainable innovation;
  • Provide a measure against which any organisation can measure its Innovation maturity over time

It is also aligned to the EFQM Model guiding principles helping any organisation consider how it supports the United Nations Global Compact (2000), the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how it addresses the Megatrends most likely to impact on its ecosystem.

What are the Benefits of Using the EFQM Innovation Lens?

The Innovation Lens allows an organisation to assess its level of innovation maturity against a comprehensive suite of indicators that are structured against the titles of:

  • Improved economic performance, (higher revenue growth) through new product, process, service or solution development and delivery;
  • Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty is achievable as a direct result of a successful Innovation programme that helps to embed the thinking and the mindset
  • It offers the opportunity for deeper employee engagement and motivation;
  • It helps an organisation understand what innovation means for it and challenges it to focus on developing new products, services, solutions and ways of working;
  • It supports an organisation in the development of processes that will enable sustainable innovation;
  • It provides a measure against which an organisation can assess innovation performance and evidences innovative activity;
  • It offers the potential for an organisation to achieve competitive differentiation and market space;
  • It offers the opportunity for external recognition that allows an organisation to publicly celebrate its success;
  • It opens the door for an organisation to become part of a cross-sector EFQM Innovation Community that is focussed on wealth creation and improving standards.

The Innovation Lens Maturity Profile

The Innovation Lens allows an organisation to assess its level of innovation maturity against a comprehensive suite of indicators that are structured against the titles of:

Vision for Innovation

Growth in Innovation

Outstanding in Innovation

Indicators

Indicators have been determined for each element of the Innovation Lens. The information provided (against 5 different levels) will provide a view as to the current level of innovation maturity.

Vision for Innovation

0-20%

Starting

ENTRY LEVEL: The organisation has started to think about the conditions, culture, processes and systems necessary to drive and nurture innovation and creativity.

Vision for Innovation

20-40%

Planning

BUILDING LEVEL: The organisation has some of the conditions, processes and systems in place. Limited evidence of results and improvements.

Growth in Innovation

40-60%

Integrating

SUSTAINING LEVEL: Conditions, culture, processes and systems to support innovation are becoming embedded in everyday activity. Evidence that these are regularly reviewed and improved. Employees are involved in innovation activities. Metrics are in place and the organisation can demonstrate some evidence of positive trends in terms of innovation activity. Evidence of partnering and collaboration with other Key Stakeholders in innovation activities.

Growth in Innovation

60-80%

Enhancing

IMPACT ON VALUE CHAIN: Innovation culture, conditions, processes and systems are clearly integrated. The organisation can evidence impact trend data. There is a wide range of financial and non-financial metrics in place which are compared with other external targets and benchmarks, as appropriate. Employees are clearly engaged in innovation activities. There is clear evidence of innovation activities impacting the value chain through customers, suppliers, partnering and collaboration on innovation projects.

Outstanding in Innovation

80-100%

Leading

FULL INTEGRATION LEVEL: A clear innovation culture is in place supported by integrated end-to-end processes and systems which impact the organisation and its value chain. Results over the strategic cycle show that the organisation is an ‘innovation exemplar’ and is recognised as such both inside and outside the sector. Evidence of best in class behaviours at all levels of the organisation.