What is a Chief Innovation Officer?

What is a Chief Innovation Officer?

To answer this question, we should first consider what the word “innovation” also means. Wikipedia’s definition reads: “Innovation is the practical implementation of ideas that result in the introduction of new goods or services or the improvement of the supply of goods or services.” In other words, innovation is not just about having great ideas, but also about execution.

Companies today can no longer afford to be passive towards innovation. As is often said in the economic literature, “if you don’t interrupt, someone else will.” It is up to the Chief Innovation offices to lead this disruption from within.

A Chief Innovation Officer, often abbreviated to CINO, is the executive responsible for managing innovation within an organization. In some organizations, CINOs are responsible for coming up with new ideas on their own. In others, they are responsible for evaluating employee ideas, selecting the best ones, and overseeing their implementation.

In these cases, CINO may also be tasked with developing education, training and other initiatives to promote innovation across the workforce. It may also be up to them to promote change and ensure leadership adherence to new projects.

In many companies, the CINO focuses primarily on the development of new digital products and services. However, this is not always the case. A SINO from a pharmaceutical company can be responsible for driving innovation within the R&D department to help them develop the next successful drug. A SINO at a toy manufacturer could be responsible for the development of traditional and digital products. It all depends on the nature of the industry.

In summary, SINOs are generally responsible for:

  • Development of long-term growth-oriented innovation strategies
  • Creation of an innovation portfolio
  • Ensure the involvement of stakeholders and leadership
  • Establish an innovation pipeline or roadmap that outlines end-to-end innovation processes, from idea generation to cultivation to delivering business value
  • Oversee new innovations as they are introduced to the market
  • Risk assessment versus the reward for innovation
  • Creation of research and development programs for employees
  • Promote an inclusive and collaborative culture of innovation across the enterprise
  • Analyze the competition and maintain a global competitive advantage
  • Creation of change management programs

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are responsible for the management, implementation and usability of information and information technologies. While CIOs are experts in information technology, CINOs are experts in how technology can be used to create something new.

One of the benefits of having a CINO is that it reduces the burden on CIOs who, with everything at their fingertips, may notice that they have the bandwidth to brainstorm or work with business units to launch new products, services, etc. . While the CIO is responsible for an organization’s corporate IT strategy, the CINO focuses solely on facilitating innovation.

Depends. Some argue that having a SINO actually diminishes innovation. In an article published by Forbes entitled “Hiring a Chief Innovation Officer is a bad idea“explains author Chuck Swoboda,” When you hire a so-called chief innovation officer, you release virtually everyone else from the responsibility and responsibility of making innovation happen. Instead of elevating and expecting the entire organization to pursue revolutionary ideas, an environment is created that allows people to give up or become conscientious objectors to change. “

In some circles, this may very well be true. However, it cannot be denied that over ⅓ of fortune 500 companies currently have a SINO and that percentage is growing rapidly. As of January 2021, there were over 1.6,000 job postings for CINO on LinkedIn from organizations ranging from government agencies to major tech companies. This suggests that CINO is more than just a fad.

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