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Who should lead an innovation effort?

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

Video: Who should lead an innovation effort?

Somebody has to lead the innovation effort. Whether it's at an organizational level or at a team level. And the answer might surprise you. I come from the commercial side of thing, marketing. And I've always held this belief that it's marketing that should be at sort of the helm of the overall leadership initiative because its the marketing function that thinks through the competitiveness of the firm. Right, it's the marketers that have to sort of go to battle.

Who should lead an innovation effort?

Somebody has to lead the innovation effort. Whether it's at an organizational level or at a team level. And the answer might surprise you. I come from the commercial side of thing, marketing. And I've always held this belief that it's marketing that should be at sort of the helm of the overall leadership initiative because its the marketing function that thinks through the competitiveness of the firm. Right, it's the marketers that have to sort of go to battle.

They're the ones that wake up thinking how are we gonna bite the good fight today. Now, that said, look innovation is a team sport. And any marketing organization that says you know, we own it (laughs) the rest of you stay out of this. No! That's not gonna work. It's just not gonna work. It's a collaborative effort between the commercial and the technical side of things. There's no question about that. I think the mistake you can make though is this at an organizational level, you can point at somebody and say they're the chief innovation officer. Why that's a problem is that everybody else looks around and says well he's the chief innovation officer, I guess it's not my problem.

No, you don't want that. I joke sometimes, you want to kill your innovation champion. Because if you don't, everybody just says look, they got it. We don't have to worry about it. But let's take the question of leadership down a level. Let's think about it in terms of team leadership through a process of generating a new product and idea and taking it all the way through to market. In that case, the leadership of the team varies depending on the nature of the project, in the phase in which the product's in.

If the project for example, is very early in it's flow it's probably good to have the marketers lead it at that stage when they're still formulating an understanding of the market. But then at some point, that team leadership can transition maybe more to the technical, to the engineering side of things where a lot of science has to be developed or brought in to, to make the thing work. At some point your team leader can be from finance.

You know as you get ready to start thinking about making big investments in tooling or in manpower or in structures to support it, you want your finance person supporting that right? They're the ones that are thinking about the return on investment and the opportunity, the trade offs that have to be made to make this project go. Their leadership is critical. As you get closer then back to launching the product, maybe you have the marketers step back in and the balls in their court then. They take the baton so to speak, to use that metaphor.

They gotta move it into the marketplace. So just having one person lead it all the way might not be the right answer. It really also depends on skill sets. You know you've got to have leadership ability. I'd rather take a good leader from a different department then have a sort of a weak leader that may be as functionally aligned to the project. I think you'll get a better result that way.

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 2756 viewers

Drew Boyd
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      19s
  2. 21m 37s
    1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
      3m 21s
    2. The principle of function follows form
      4m 8s
    3. The closed-world principle
      4m 16s
    4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
      3m 51s
    5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
      3m 11s
    6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
      2m 50s
  3. 11m 55s
    1. Functional fixedeness
      2m 26s
    2. The subtraction technique
      2m 59s
    3. Subtraction in action
      4m 8s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 22s
  4. 10m 35s
    1. Structural fixedness
      2m 32s
    2. The division technique
      2m 43s
    3. Division in action
      3m 3s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 17s
  5. 16m 25s
    1. The multiplication technique
      4m 24s
    2. Multiplication in action
      4m 39s
    3. Zooming in and zooming out
      4m 51s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 31s
  6. 15m 45s
    1. The task-unification technique
      4m 19s
    2. Task unification in action
      4m 14s
    3. Using task unification for business issues
      4m 27s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 45s
  7. 17m 49s
    1. The attribute dependency technique
      3m 32s
    2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
      3m 37s
    3. Types of dependencies
      4m 12s
    4. Attribute dependency in action
      4m 31s
    5. Addressing common challenges
      1m 57s
  8. 27m 7s
    1. Running ideation workshops
      4m 13s
    2. Which technique to use
      3m 26s
    3. Creating new services and processes
      3m 17s
    4. Creating digital innovations
      5m 12s
    5. Involving customers
      5m 49s
    6. Evaluating ideas
      5m 10s
  9. 14m 48s
    1. Mastering innovative thinking
      3m 42s
    2. Building a pilot program
      3m 56s
    3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
      4m 3s
    4. Next steps
      3m 7s
  10. 52m 41s
    1. About Drew
      2m 9s
    2. What is innovation?
      51s
    3. What got Drew started in innovation?
      2m 15s
    4. On innovation as a skill
      1m 53s
    5. On innovation as part of your business
      1m 58s
    6. On resistance to innovation
      3m 31s
    7. On innovation's tainted image
      2m 34s
    8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
      2m 31s
    9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
      3m 6s
    10. On favorite innovation experiences
      3m 51s
    11. On innovation vs. strategy
      3m 36s
    12. On working with innovation consultants
      3m 20s
    13. On trends in innovation
      3m 26s
    14. On innovation as competition
      2m 32s
    15. On innovative companies
      2m 43s
    16. On generating vs. executing ideas
      3m 2s
    17. Can you overdo innovation?
      2m 1s
    18. How do you start innovating?
      3m 44s
    19. On the most innovative products
      3m 38s

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