The North Star describes the organization’s overarching goal and purpose. It points to a desirable future, giving the innovation agenda both a destination (where and why) and a direction (how).

Some attributes of the North Star include:

• Conveys the value added by the organization through its products and services. 

• Goes beyond profits to a higher-level goal and wider ambitions to inspire employees. 

• Is aspirational, motivating and centering employees day-to-day, yet unreachable in a lifetime, much like nirvana.

• Is relatively abstract so each employee can see their work in it, and yet not so abstract that it includes everything and anything.

Every innovation project should be scrutinized against the North Star, not just once, but often to ensure that the actions align with the destination. New products, services, or activities advance towards the North Star; they are not ends in themselves. They form a portfolio of aligned activities, as opposed to stand alone initiatives.

Ready to try the Compass? Click below to open the first worksheet which covers both the North Star and Problems spaces.