Chief Innovation Officer's Agenda

by Paul Hobcraft

Chief Innovation Officer ChecklistI tend to not like offering up checklists as blog posts, you know those one hundred and one ideas for this or that, although I have to admit I like collecting them as a kick-starting resource. Today I decided to change my mind, Why? The Innovation Champion has many jobs-to-be-done and I felt this would be a useful ‘sparking point’ to recognize the innovation jobs involved.

Often I think those of us involved in innovation need to keep reminding ourselves it is not just working on that days problem that is in front of us but to ‘move along’ all the others, to build a sustaining capacity and set of capabilities. So this is my view on those innovation jobs-to-be-done list that internally and through external consultants are constantly needed to be actively managed and supported to help build a stronger innovation structure.

Also these do build towards a possible Chief Innovation Officer’s agenda and content.

These are, for me, the areas that would need to be tackled and consciously working on. What do you think?

  1. Building innovation capabilities: evaluating and accessing the company’s innovation capabilities, working through the culture, climate and environment that is needed for innovation, removing the barriers to innovation to increase the potential available.
  2. Developing the competencies and capacities to innovate: make innovation everybody’s everyday job; to grow the understanding and organization for innovation and often for the renewal that is needed.
  3. Creating breakthrough strategies: insights and fresh thinking, tools & techniques that enable the creation of new strategic innovation, discovery, exploring white space, extending beyond the existing core to turn thinking into real world solutions.
  4. Developing new business models: exploring different business model design and innovation. Building the business case to accelerate, change and (radically) alter the existing state in greater valued ways.
  5. Finding opportunities for innovation and new growth: create new value, disruptive and radical innovation, disrupting the market to create new growth, identifying and developing new markets and segments, optimizing new products, honing the incremental value, building bigger and better ideas that solve the customer need.
  6. Catalytic thinking: Innovation can be the catalyst to a set of strategic questions and problems, providing a new scope through innovation, shifting perspectives and mindsets, making different connections that lead to growth opportunities.
  7. Knowing the emerging, leading and best practice of innovation: having the latest insights, awareness and understanding of trends and approaches through innovation and what this can possibly bring to existing thinking.
  8. Recognizing innovation lifecycle management: organizing around different platforms, portfolio’s and approaches to enhancing the value of the investments made. Pinpointing, verifying and improving the ‘impact’ innovation can bring to the different stages
  9. Accelerating and bringing change: critically exploring speed-to-market, execution, alignment, stretching and scaling accordingly, more fluid structures, asset utilization, using innovation as the positive change agent/ enabler.
  10. Enhancing the quality of inventive intellectual thinking: leveraging the intellectual assets and the intangibles by enhancing knowledge sharing, transferring and the conversion strategies for improved deliverables and worth.
  11. Strengthening the collaborating effect: through a growing need for greater networking, collaborations and changing relationship management techniques to broaden horizons and possibilities, reducing tensions and accelerating agreement and opening up more informal innovation pathways.
  12. Building innovation resources: access to concepts and theories, tools, templates, techniques and methodologies, research, inspiration, knowledge insights and critically links to related activities that feed off of innovation.
  13. Leading clearly for innovation: insights on the role of top management and how innovation processes can be facilitated, developed and embedded through coaching, championing and facilitating. Turning aspiration into reality.
  14. Management 2.0: is about reinventing innovation management for a new age, management model innovation, and management of innovation activity in general. Building innovation into the very fabric of the organisation.
  15. Longterm innovation:  the ability to embed a ‘sustaining innovation’ mindset, develop the environment for independent thinking and longer-term identification, seeking out tomorrows pathway through a more holistic view, growing more dependency on increased interactivity.

Care to add any I might have missed out, although I must admit this list is long enough as it stands. By the way, they are not in any particular order.

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Paul HobcraftPaul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topics that relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities.

No comments

  1. I agree with the “list fiber” and I think this is a great one specifically the last point. That should be the aim.

    Recently I just worked one one similar task, approaching the academic “information delivery” method of the “Letter bundles” like the n X’s of anything.

    So I wrote my about the C’s of the word innovation, which is in line with your valuable innovators agenda.
    If curious the C’s are here

  2. 0. Consider embracing ‘ sustainability-mindedness’… Design, change and practice for whole life value and future generations… ‘leaders-towards-sustainability’ , innovation , innovation ‘ecosystem’ and innovators centre stage … eg see > design for sustainability-as-flourishing … ecological value creating design …

  3. Paul, you’ve created a very strong top 15 list. You are addressing innovation strategy, innovation capabilities, and the innovation process itself. You might also tie Culture to the “making innovation everyone’s job” point (#2)”; innovation needs to permeate mindset, beliefs, attitudes, language, behaviors, etc.

    Thank you for such a readable and valuable post.

  4. Mary,

    glad you found it valuable. I feel the agenda set out needs ‘airing’ as I’ve never seen a complete one, only part suggestions or given tasks that could be performed. This at least raises the bar on what a Chief Innovation Officers role should entail. thanks also for your kind comments- makes these always more worthwhile- Paul

  5. Hi Paul – I’m glad you departed from your listophobia for this one, I like it. One I would add is Innovation Efficiency;. This is making sure that available resource is deployed in the areas in which it will make most difference; and that it is aligned with corporate strategy.

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