The simple answer to this is that it depends on who is using them and why. A hammer in the hands of a two year old child is not likely to accomplish much constructive — but the same tool in the hands of a master craftsman can build a beautiful piece of furniture or help to construct a bridge. The difference lies in understanding where and when to use the tools, and having the necessary skills to use them well.
In the field of innovation and design support it is clear that many innovation managers do use tools and find them useful. But it is a matter of horses for courses — they do not all use the same tools and many are personal favourites or tools which they have found can help solve a particular type of problem. Much depends on personal choice and that in turn depends on experience, skills, etc.
Click this link for research around the question of which tools are used and why.
With so many tools around there is probably something which is potentially useful for most situations. Whether or not is proves to be so depends on matching it to the particular user. We’ve tried to provide some frameworks to help do this, ranging from a simple browser through to mapping the tools into key categories linked to our core model of the innovation process.