To drive this point home, let’s talk about some examples we have seen:
- A mid-sized company may still be founder-led and have a strong innovation culture, but may not have gotten around to developing a real innovation system.
- Or a large company may have an elaborate system of innovation governance, but an oppressive culture. It is important to not mix the waters.
This is why Swarm measures the eight dimensions of Innovation Culture, and the six dimensions of Innovation System. While part of the same assessment, each is reported separately to help leaders hone in on the exact dimensions that need work. Read more about Innovation Culture here.
Figure 1: Swarm measures the innovation Culture and System separately
When assessing your innovation system, you need a credible sample size so the conclusions are credible. Here are some easy rules of thumb for sample size. For any organizational assessment, you need at least a 95 percent confidence level and no more than a +/- 3 percentage point margin of error for the results to be credible. Here are the minimum sample sizes for different workforce populations:
Recommended Sample Sizes
(95% Confidence level, +/- 3 percentage point margin of error)
You can calculate the sample size required for different population sizes here.
Keep in mind that for any “unit” you want to compare to another “unit” (say one business unit or location to another) you need to collect a sufficient sample from each unit for the findings to be reliable. So for example, if you want to compare IT in North America with IT in Europe and they each have 500 employees, you need to sample 341 IT employees in each of the two locations.
In the example below, to compare two locations or functions, each needs to have a stable sample size given the total workforce in the unit.
Figure 2: Swarm innovation system dashboard