26 February 2023

Season 3, Episode 30. Innovation Accounting with Esther Gons

“Look for the impact that you want to have, and then prioritize based on impact rather than market.” – Esther Gons


In this episode, the founder and CEO of GroundControl, Esther Gons discusses how innovation accounting can help organizations measure success when launching high-risk projects. She explore the need to start multiple ventures in order to predict success, and the importance of implementing formalized processes for innovation in order for an organization to create a culture of innovation. Esther also provides insight into how to measure performance metrics before beginning any project, fail fast and use learnings from failed experiments to inform future projects, and celebrate those who have saved the company money.


Esther Gons is the CEO and founder of GroundControl, an innovation software company that helps corporate startup teams develop new business models. The company has clients such as Euler Hermes, DHL, and ABN Amro. Gons is a speaker on corporate innovation, innovation accounting, and startups, and was named to Inside Outside's 2022 Watchlist: Women in Innovation. 


Key Highlights

[00:00 - 06:35] Unpacking the Layers of Innovation Accounting

•Innovation Accounting focuses on data driven experiments and accountability for decisions

• Innovation Accounting involves building a second system for organizations doing high risk innovation

• Accountability layers involve team, managerial, and strategic layers 

• Tracking success involves connecting team components to overall organizational strategy


[06:35 - 12:34] Examining Processes, Culture, and Habits to Achieve Success

• Organizations need to measure the success of high-risk projects in order to stay competitive

• Risk adverse processes and governance can flatten these projects

• To ensure success, organizations should start multiple high-risk projects

• Successful innovation requires a combination of culture change and process change


[12:34 - 18:51] Mitigating Risk with a Systematic Approach

• Processes need to be in place to change culture 

• Professionalizing innovation is an iterative process 

• Innovation accounting helps organizations understand investments 

• Documenting the way to measure innovation helps organizations fail fast and learn from mistakes 


[18:52 - 21:05] Closing Segment

• Prioritize based on impact rather than market size 

• Look for a business model that's big enough to scale

• Make room for innovations that go against the data 


Key Quotes:

" To do innovation within an organization, you need multiple teams trying to validate multiple ideas.You need to understand if your teams are doing well and if they're moving forward.” – Esther Gons


“Look at the impact you want to make, because otherwise you're never gone make that change." – Esther Gons


Connect with Esther

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/esthergons/

Website: https://estheremmelygons.nl/


Check out Natalie's New Book: SET IT ON FIRE: The Art of Innovation available now at https://setitonfire.co/


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