A few months ago, I changed my cats’ food to only hairball formula. One of my cats tends to get really excited when the food comes out, eats too much, and makes a mess. He also has a tendency to eat things that are not food (like ribbon, yarn, and dental floss) and the hairball formula apparently helps him to digest the organic, non-food items.
When I took my furry friends to the veterinarian for their annual checkup and shots, she weighed them. I periodically weigh my cats, too, so I expected the number she reported. But what I had not expected was her level of concern. They had both last 1-2 lbs. over a one-year timeframe.
My vet gave two conclusions that needed further testing. One was that since they were eating only hairball food, their weight loss could be attributed to the higher fiber content. I guess just like humans, if felines eat more fiber, there not as hungry for treats and snacks. The other alternative she gave was that thyroid conditions – especially at their age – could cause weight loss. Therefore, she ordered a thyroid level test for both cats.
Establishing a Baseline
In all science and engineering, we want to establish a baseline. When we understand the average, current performance, then we can design an improvement plan. The veterinarian had looked at one baseline – cat weight one year ago – and compared it to the current state. Out of a degree of caution, she ordered the thyroid test to establish a baseline in a new measure of their health.
Innovation success depends on knowing where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Innovation, like any science or engineering problem, requires establishing a baseline to design an improvement plan. Or, as in the case of the thyroid test for my cats, the measurement determines if a problem really exists.
Measuring the Innovation Baseline
You can measure the health of your innovation ecosystem with the Innovation Health Assessment. There are two purposes in completing the Innovation Health Assessment for your organization. First, the results establish a baseline for the maturity of your new product development practices. Everyone who completes the innovation health assessment will receive a customized Innovation Health Assessment Report comparing your innovation ecosystem to other organizations in the industry. Thus, a second outcome of completing a health assessment is to benchmark against others, both average and top-tier organizations.
You can complete the Innovation Health Assessment here. We do ask that you register at www.Simple-PDH.com so that we can monitor the database integrity. Rest assured that your information will be kept private, and your name and email will never be given to a third party. Register here – check out the video below for instructions on how to register and answer the survey questions in the Innovation Health Assessment. And unlike the thyroid test (which was very expensive), the innovation health assessment is free to you.
You need to have a baseline of the current state to understand the health of your system. The cats’ thyroid tests came back in the normally expected range and they seem pretty happy eating the healthier hairball food. Importantly, the thyroid test results provide a specific baseline for these two felines who might be of the general cat species but are definitely two unique bodies.
Likewise, completing the Innovation Health Assessment allows your firm to establish a benchmark for your innovation ecosystem as compared to a cross industry average. Moreover, the Innovation Health Assessment Report provides results specific to your innovation program and new product development teams, lending insight for any appropriate enhancements.
Bonus: If you complete all the questions in the Innovation Health Assessment survey by 30 June 2019 and enter code “Blog 19”, you will be entered to win a $15 Starbucks gift card through a random drawing. If you have questions about the health of your innovation system or want to learn more about New Product Development Best Practices, join me on Thursdays in July for more in-depth knowledge transfer. Please email me for more information at info at Simple-PDH.com
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