After I retired from the performance world and started consulting- first athletes, then business leaders, I wanted to be the best in the world at delivering innovation to my clients. I needed a system to be able to track my client’s progress so that we knew we were on course. It made perfect sense to me to apply the method of training utilized in the world of sports into the corporate world to ensure I had built in rigor into my measuring mechanism.

The Russians have a system which enables them to track progress across many different skills. The goal is to achieve progress in everything that gets worked on, no matter how small or incremental. The theory is that if you are getting approximately ten different small distinctions and improvements per day then even though they seem minor it adds up very quickly and you will start producing incredible results.

What I have done is apply this system of measurement to business so that you can measure and track your innovation progress and boost your end results.

To teach you this system, I’m going to give you a training metaphor. Imagine you are a young athlete and I am your trainer. In order to build up your strength, I might coach you to incorporate 20 push-ups into your daily workout routine. The obvious measuring mechanism of getting stronger each day is COMPLETION of a new skill. i.e. Success is measured by simply doing 20 push-ups a day. Over time you will see improvements in strength simply by doing 20 push-ups each day.

Translated into the business world, this means that when you have a new activity to complete, the activity gets a checkmark when you accomplish it.

Activity example: Make twenty sales call a day.

When you’ve made your twenty calls, you might call that completion a win. I call that completion the start. Will twenty additional sales call a day boost your revenue? It might. But there are five strategic ways we can improve on this ROI. Here, I’m going to give you just one.

Going back to the sports analogy, let’s imagine it takes you one minute to complete those twenty push-ups. Great. Now how can you measure an improvement?


One answer is SPEED. You can still use the one minute benchmark but increase the number of push-ups you do in that minute. So improving your speed is one measure of improving your performance.

Improving your speed is one measure of improving your performance

An example of how SPEED has been used in business to add more revenue is getting your product to your customer for the same cost but in less time. The famous Dominos campaign, in which they declared you get ‘hot fresh pizza to your door in 30 mins or less or it’s free!’ is an interesting case study. Revenue grew because Dominos focused on this one thing that customers valued -speed of delivery- and this small distinction in their marketing message enabled them to win in the marketplace. Now, clearly, speed alone won’t cut cut it in the long run if speed causes traffic accidents in an effort to get the pizza to your customer (which is exactly what happened to Domino’s). So, context is critical. Otherwise, you could end up misfiring and getting burdened with some hefty lawsuits.

However, SPEED is one strategy that has allowed Amazon to successfully grow their revenue. Amazon Prime members now make up more than half the online retailer’s customer base. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners recently estimated that Amazon counts 63 million Prime members among its shoppers—an increase of 19 million from the previous year. Many Amazon customers (yes, I’m one with them) will happily pay for the privilege of getting orders to their door in 2 days, or even on the same day.

Aside from speed, there are four additional performance boosters you need to know about.

“Context is critical. You’ve got to get clear on which strategy to use when.” – Leena Patel

Knowing which of the five to use -so that you crush it like Amazon instead of kill it like Domino’s- is key to your innovation strategy.

I’ll be sharing the entire model, including what the other 4 performance boosters are, in this week’s podcast. I’ll give you the system for tracking your performance, plus, ideas that will help you innovate and win in the marketplace.

P.S. Subscribe today. I’ll be offering a special free gift that you’ll want to take advantage of if innovation is a hot topic in your company.

P.P.S. Android users can get it here.

Originally published at


  • Leena Patel

    Chief Innovation Officer

    Leena Patel is the founder of, author of Raise Your Innovation IQ, and a leading expert on helping executive teams worldwide drive innovation and develop a culture of collaboration and inclusion. She draws from two decades experience as a woman-owned business owner to design and execute on innovation initiatives that capitalize on new business opportunities and secure a strategic market position. Leena and her team have worked with leading corporations in 16+ industries, advised CEOs and Senior Executives worldwide, delivered over 1000 seminars, and have been featured by leading media like NBC, Bloomberg, Fox News, ESPN, and many more. Learn more at