Innovation Drivers Survey

Identifying innovation potential; what's driving and restraining innovation?

In order to meet the requirements of an ever changing environment, including new standards of competition, every organization needs to be able to generate new ideas and implement improvements continuously.

Innovation Drivers Survey assesses the strengths and weaknesses of your teams and/or organization as seen through the lens of the innovation process, with a focus on key specific skills. It will give you important information to make changes and or optimize your innovation performance.


Basic Concept

According to the “force field analysis” concept developed by Kurt Lewin, attempts to demonstrate innovative thinking are generally accompanied by two sets of competing forces. One set is the “driving” forces and the other is the “restraining” forces.

From the lens of this concept, we can see innovation thinking as a balance of these two forces.

  • Driving forces, those elements which promote further innovative thinking
  • Restraining forces, those elements which impede further innovative thinking



Support the driving forces and reduce the restraining forces of innovative thinking, thus promoting innovation.


Driving Forces

The survey uses the “Five critical functions for Innovation” framework developed by Edward B. Roberts and Alan R. Fusfeld to measure the driving forces. These are:

  1. Idea Generation
  1. Entrepreneurship or Championship
  1. Project Leadership
  1. Gate Keeping
  1. Sponsorship or Coaching

These “Five critical functions for Innovation” are identified from research into organizations that successfully delivered innovation, revealing the different functions needed at the different phases of innovation.

This survey looks at the distribution of these five functions in the organization. The higher the score is, the stronger the driving force of the specific forces recognized.


Restraining Forces

The survey uses the concept of “Taga”, which in Japanese is used to describe various limitations to a person’s thinking. Below are examples of how they manifest:

  1. Market and Customer Based Constrains ("Who")
  1. Product and services Based Constraints ("What")
  1. Activity Based Constraints ("How")
  1. Interpersonal and/or Intrapersonal Constraints ("Relation and Self")
  1. Goal and Objective Based Constraints ("Result")

“Taga” – A constrain/block in thinking, usually caused by an adherence to organizational paradigms or conventions. Taga make people in organizations react (decide/act) unconsciously (and/or automatically), based on thoughts of what is/is not possible from their current circumstances; thus blocking new and/or untried initiatives, actions, and thoughts.

This survey analyzes the distribution of the five Taga aspects above. The higher the score is, the weaker the force of the restraining forces is.

Best Ways to Use Survey Results

Once an organization identifies what is driving or restraining innovation within the organization, we can then look at what support activities can be employed to effectively promote innovation.

What follows is an example of an innovation process plan we used with one of our clients:

  1. Survey result debrief and follow-up meeting with executives and managers
  • Identify innovation blocks/steps for promoting innovation in the organization.
  • Create a team for the innovation project
  1. Development of project team workshops based on survey results
  • Design an educational approach of how to overcome identified blocks
  • Select key techniques for managing, facilitating and implementing innovation
  1. Meetings at project team/workplace based on survey results
  • Launch an innovation project; take it from idea generation to implementation
  • Facilitate innovation meeting at workplace level


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