Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 27 2015

10 Questions That Will Tell How Innovative Your Organization Really Is

By David McMillin



No matter where you turn in the meetings industry, the innovation conversation will be waiting. I’ve heard about innovation in keynote speeches and breakout sessions. I’ve seen innovation in tag lines and titles. I’ve tried new technologies that have all been designed to be the “innovative solutions that will transform the future.”

While everyone loves innovation, it’s a challenging concept to actually measure. You can track attendance numbers, exhibitor traffic and a range of other numbers at your meeting, but quantifying you organization’s level of innovation seems more difficult. To solve that problem, the International Congress and Convention Association has launched a new simple tool with the help of Leeds Beckett University’s International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality in the United Kingdom.

It’s called an Absorptive Capacity Calculator, and you can find your score right here. If you didn’t know the importance of absorptive capacity, you’re not alone. I wasn’t sure of its role in innovation, either.

“One of the most influential ideas to emerge over the past two decades is the role absorptive capacity plays in innovation,” Professor Rhodri Thomas at Leeds Beckett University says. “Absorptive capacity is the ability to acquire, assimilate, transform and exploit external knowledge for competitive advantage.”

“The idea is that competitive organizations are not only able to process knowledge effectively to innovate but they also have the capacity to use information that does not directly fill an identifiable gap in knowledge,” Thomas adds.

SEE ALSO: Peer Inside The Innovation Lab At This Major Hotel Brand

Some organizations focus on their leadership and their culture to determine their willingness to take risks and embrace change, but the ICCA’s tool is built to help organizations compare themselves with their primary competitors. From the way an organization monitors trends to the way it encourages employees to share information to the way it uses IT to improve the flow of information, the quiz offers an assessment of your organization’s creativity and ingenuity.

Click here to take the quiz. This is a grade-yourself exam, so none of your classmates will earn a subpar score. ICCA’s survey of more than 200 members reveals that the meetings industry has some for improvement, too. The average score was 34. A score of 45 or higher indicates a high level of innovation.

Looking for help being more innovative? Click here to find two essential pieces of the equation.

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