Rethinking Innovation Investment: Where CFOs Should Start


August 6th, 2021

By Robert Lowe (guest contributor)

For CFOs, one of the murkiest decisions on a quarterly—and yearly—basis is what they plan to do about their organization’s innovation investments. To really get innovation correct organizations must consistently invest sums of money and time into their efforts—think DARPA’s decades-long push to build what became the Internet, or Nestle’s unorthodox bid to invent what became Nespresso. And for CFOs who prefer to allocate funds in less risky and more projectible ways, the prospect of pumping money into long-term projects with no concrete ROI or firm end date naturally makes them nervous.

Unfortunately, this conventional thinking—which implicitly prioritizes incrementalism as the best way to tackle innovation—has led to an innovation standstill at many organizations. Here are a few steps that CFOs and their surrounding teams can take both to rethink their approach to Innovation Ops, and to help turn it into the sustainable revenue-generating engine that it should be.

Read the full article here.