Voters rated the candidates in three areas: originality, value, and impact. When the 8,237 votes had been tabulated, the top-scoring entry, by a narrow margin, was “Org DNA: Building the Four Bases of an Execution Culture.” It’s clear to most in business that a superior strategy, if poorly executed, can lose to an inferior but better-executed strategy. The Organizational DNA approach looks at the unique way decision rights, motivators, structure, and information combine in an organization. Once that is clear, it is possible to identify and address the causes of execution problems. Thus Organizational DNA embeds execution in the company’s genetic code.
The theme of effectiveness ran through all of the winning ideas. Innovation spending, for example, suffers from a steep diminishing-return curve. Companies cannot improve their innovation performance by simply investing more in innovation. A more effective approach is to find ways to wring a higher innovation return from each dollar currently spent. Thus, voters strongly endorsed “ROI2: Raising the Return on Innovation Investment.” ROI2 improves an organization’s ability to tap new ideas, make the right development bets, improve new-product development, and commercialize innovations. “Great stuff indeed!” one voter commented, a judgment shared widely enough to put the ROI2 framework in the Leading Innovations winner’s circle.