The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 8(4), 2003, article 13.


The Opportunity Recognition and Innovation Index (ORII) (PDF)


Walter Derzko


Innovation is on the mind of most business owners, CEO's and Presidents. Many people however, have a difficult time in addessing the key question: How innovative is our firm and how can we get better?

The Opportunity Recognition and Innovation Index (ORII) is an assessment instrument that can be used to determine the innovative capacity of any organization.

This comprehensive tool explores the three key inter-related levels of innovation performance in an organization - the individual level, the team and organizational-level - and helps you answer the following questions:

  1. How Opportunity-savvy are you as an individual? How well are you able to sense and respond to new emerging and competing opportunities?
  2. How Opportunity-driven and opportunity-sensitive is our team? How can we optimize team composition and team dynamics for the innovation task at hand?
  3. How Opportunity-promoting is the corporate culture in the recognition and exploitation of an opportunity? How efficiently and effectively can the organization drive innovation from the idea stage to implementation/commercialization? and How opportunity- promoting is the organization culture as a whole?

Some of the dimensions that the ORII touches on at the individual level, include: anticipatory skills, alertness, individual propensity for risk, spotting early clues or weak signals of change, sense-making, thinking skills for new pattern recognition, evaluation, sharing, responding, acting pro-actively etc

At the team level, some of the success factors that distinguish innovative vs non-innovative firms include: formal and informal roles, selection, goal stability and clarity, formal and informal group processes, formal and informal communications, team coordination, cohesiveness, climate (trust, participative safety, etc), shared mental models, conflict resolution/management, etc

As well, the ORII addresses a number of management issues at the corporate/firm level including: strategic orientation, agility, commitment to opportunity, commitment of resources, control of resources, management structure, management processes, management of the opportunity portfolio, innovation leadership, reward philosophy, tolerance for risk, growth orientation, entrepreneurial culture, searching for opportunity-demanding customers etc

ORII questions also address the feedback and feedforward issues between the three levels (the individual, inter and intra-team and corporate culture level) that reflect a well-balanced knowledge-based organization.

About the Author:

Walter Derzko, in Toronto. 416 -588-1122 email:;



Published September 22 2003

Revised September 23 2003

Last updated: July 8 2014