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Earlier this month, Innovation Enterprise held a Chief Innovation Officer Summit in New York City. The Summit brings together innovation leaders from a range of industries to “incite discovery, inspire change & facilitate a cross-pollination of ideas”. Panelists from some of the most innovative companies such as Pfizer, Disney, Sony, and NASA discussed innovation best practices, innovation metrics, and breakthrough strategies.
One topic discussed at the summit was The Premature Extinction of the Chief #Innovation Officer. The chief Innovation officer or CINO is the person who is primarily responsible for managing the process of innovation.
Innovation executives are often the facilitator of change, and the leaders responsible for the development of corporate innovation culture.
Although I am a firm believer that the CEO must take the role of Chief Innovation Officer, in large corporations, it pays to have a CINO that works and drives innovation on a daily basis. Due to the fact that innovation is not always immediately tangible, it is important to continually re-evaluate the role and adapt to change in order to stay relevant.
Every successful business leader knows that innovation in business is essential, but the best way to engineer and sustain it is not always clear.
During the summit Luis Solis, President of Imaginatik highlighted four essential steps/measures to fortify the CINO position. These steps not only affirm the 10 imperatives of innovation as outlined in Robert’s rules of Innovation, but strengthen my resolve that successful innovation requires many different elements to cross the finish line ahead of your competition.
According to Mr. Solis, the best way to ensure that the role of the CINO does not follow that of the CKO is by doing the following:
- Make Innovation Imperative: Language is crucial. Innovation cannot be an option, it must be a priority.
- Show the Impact of Innovation: Visible Indicators of success need not only be monetary, your return on innovation can be changes in speed to market, patents, shortened cycles, and other measures. Remember that what gets measured gets done. Look for Leading and Lagging indications of Innovations as written about before.
- Investment in people and time: Educate your CFO about investing in innovation, so that you can invest in the people and time needed to make innovation happen. Create a culture around innovation. Educate and inspire.
- Secure Institutional Trust: Stakeholders in your business must understand that innovation is a shared win. Your corporate culture must also take into account that without risk, there can be no innovation. Use Failure as a Learning opportunity.
You can learn more about the 10 imperatives of Robert’s Rules of Innovation here. Robert Brands is the founder of InnovationCoach.com and the author of “Robert’s Rules of Innovation”: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival, with Martin Kleinman, published by Wiley.