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The “New CIO”: The Rising Role of the Chief Innovation Officer

Program Description

As organizations look for growth from innovation, companies are increasingly creating an executive-level position with accountability for delivering on the promise of innovation. While there are many, many new Chief Innovation Officers, there remains a great deal of confusion and inconsistency in how the role is defined. With information gleaned from Bill’s research performed for his latest book, this topic seeks to define the role of the ideal executive accountable for innovation.

The presentation posits that the Chief Innovation Officer must be a member of the corporate executive team, preferably reporting to the CEO. The best people in this role lead small dedicated teams and are charged with the following set of cross-functional responsibilities and accountabilities:

  • Improve and deliver business results from innovation. 
  • Lead the measurement and analysis of innovation results.  
  • Formulate and communicate innovation strategy. 
  • Identify disruptive threats and opportunities based on trends. 
  • Shape and manage the corporate innovation portfolio. 
  • Cultivate and sponsor breakthrough innovation initiatives.
  • Evolve innovation business disciplines and competencies
  • Create and nurture a culture conducive to innovation.
  • Develop innovation roles, talents, and career paths
  • Define and monitor innovation metrics and measures

A successful Chief Innovation Officer is a master of influence. They formulate strategy and establish a coalition of individuals across business units, functions, and geographies to improve the execution of all types of innovation. This includes innovation beyond products to include service, business model, channel and commercial innovation.

Audience Take-Aways

This material presents a clear vision for the role of the ideal Chief Innovation Officer in a large, multinational corporation. It is intended to leave participants with a blueprint for establishing the role and a playbook for a new Chief Innovation Officer. We will also cover common pitfalls we have experienced as organizations have sought to transform themselves with this strategy.

Program Notes

Based on Bill’s most recent research, this topic has been his most requested over the past few months. It has been delivered at industry conferences, solution provider events, and in other public forums. The material can be adapted to a workshop setting for a small group from a single company or an executive team that is grappling with the issue of driving growth from innovation.