Designing and executing an Innovation and Creativity Audit

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2017

10 Pages, Grade: 2,0



Tables and figures

1 Introduction

2 Theoretical background
2.1 Current state of innovation audits and best practices
2.2 Towards an own set of innovation audit questions



Interview Questions of the Creativity and Innovation Audit

Tables and figures

Figure 1: Innovation and Creativity audit (Source: Own representation)

1 Introduction

Today’s business world is influenced by such rapidly changing consumer needs and technological advancements that many markets actually have entered a state of hyper-competition (Rifkin, 1996). Such an intense and fast-paced state of competition could allow any company to penetrate almost any market and take over business sectors so that the concept of long-term competitive advantages does not apply anymore (Financial Times, 2016). A recent example on this is Uber and the takeover of the European taxi market (Smith, 2014).

So to ensure sustainability of a business under these circumstances, there is a need for companies to constantly innovate, allocate resources accordingly, take full control of all efforts regarding innovation and include stakeholders to steer them in the right direction. The Harvard Business Review authors Nagji and Tuff’s (2012) study highlights that most successful companies allocated 70% of their innovation efforts to core initiatives, 20% to side activities and 10% to transformational activities.

The worth of a well-directed innovation effort seems indisputable. However, a huge problem seems to arise beforehand as it is mostly unclear to managers which innovation efforts are already within their company and what the actual innovation potential of the company is (Nagji and Tuff, 2012).

This work therefore focuses on the assessment of these innovation efforts such as the company’s ability to stimulate innovation and foster creativity in regard to the employees’ abilities in order to increase their idea generation capabilities by developing an innovation and creativity audit framework leading to potential innovation (Marshall, 2013).

2 Theoretical background

Within this part, the authors primarily focus on giving a slight overview on existing innovation audits for the purpose of identifying a pattern and choosing particular questions that have to be asked within their own framework.

2.1 Current state of innovation audits and best practices

Researchers presented distinct approaches so as to ensure a balanced, systematic and comprehensive audit. Consideration has been taken into account that the quality of the auditing adopted will contribute to a competitive advantage to the organisation. Further, since every audit has its respective strengths and weaknesses, it is essential to present distinct audits including McKinsey 7’s Framework, the Handbook on the Innovation Audit by the Mediterranean Innovation Alliance, Innovation Diamond, and finally Innovation for Growth Audits (Mobbs, 2011).

McKinsey 7-S Model (Waterman, Peters and Phillips, 1980) represents a management tool which embraces a set of interdependent elements which contribute to both efficiency and effectiveness of the business. These seven elements include strategy, structure, systems, shared values, skills, style and staff. The audit needs to incorporate a description and assessment of these seven interdependent factors, highlighting in the process the manner a particular component is going to impact alternative relevant components.

The strengths of the McKinsey Model focus on the effective implementation of the firm’s strategy. Further one can appreciate that strategy and structure are linked with others’, so as to ensure organisational effectiveness. Moreover, this model is comprehensive, since an integrated approach is adapted to the seven constructs. The hard and soft aspects of the organisation are directly assessed, with a focus on the coordination of the priority tasks. The limitations of McKinsey 7’s are that this model is static. Thus analysists find it quite challenging as regards what should be done regarding the model’s practical implementation. Further, this model lacks empirical support particularly in the degree of fitness interlinking the organisation to the respective market realities.

The Mediterranean Innovation Alliance (2009) qualifies that an innovation audit embraces a set of interrelated components. These include: innovative capability, innovative fit, innovative capacity, innovative leadership, learning and development and knowledge transfer. Complementary areas where innovation is likewise embedded includes infrastructures, commercialization, enterprise, professionalization, together with metrics and standards which measure both the impact and contributions of innovations.

The strengths of this approach is that the organisation can gain an insightful market knowledge, develop further the creative talent of the employees and sharpens tools and techniques which facilitate the innovation process. This ensures their tactful application to the contextual situation in terms of the innovative fit. The model stresses innovative leadership and this increments knowledge transfers, the quality of infrastructure and professional standards. The weaknesses of this approach are that the organisational success depends to a large measure on understanding and capitalizing on the context. However, the context is not being granted priority importance in this regard.

The Innovation Diamond as expounded by Copper and Mills (2005) focuses primarily on four domains which channel the organisation’s best practice. These include product innovation and technology strategy, portfolio management including strategic and tactical issues and idea to-to-launch new product development process. A further domain concerns the design of the optimal climate within the organisation which facilitates the momentum favouring innovation.

Rigby et al (2009) argues that innovation is the core strength of this approach. Further this aspect is assessed within different phases of the business cycles, capitalizing on market opportunities in the process. Moreover, this model strongly favours the learning organisation approach which is deemed pivotal for innovation. In this regard, a set of critical success factors help in the measurement of innovation. The weaknesses are that cutting edge research advocated by this approach can only be implemented by large scale organisations. Further, although innovation is important, building a value chain sustaining innovation is highly costly for the organisation, not only in financial terms but also in terms of human resources.


Excerpt out of 10 pages


Designing and executing an Innovation and Creativity Audit
University of Malta  (Edward de Bono Institute)
Innovation in organisations
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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876 KB
innovation, creativity, audit, assessment, innovationmanagement
Quote paper
Felix Zappe (Author), 2017, Designing and executing an Innovation and Creativity Audit, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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