There is a new chief in town and things are going to change. Well, we better hope so or the person is not doing a good job. The chief I am referring to is the Chief Innovation Officer. The term has been thrown around loosely, but who is this mysterious person?
In this three part series I aim to answer that question and explain exactly what it is they do. I believe the Chief Innovation Officer has three primary roles:
- Gather Ideas: Implementing the process and tools necessary to gather ideas.
- Sell Ideas: Have the knowledge and connections necessary to sell ideas.
- Implement Ideas: Facilitate or manage the implementation of Ideas.
Sounds pretty simple eh? Well let’s get started.
Believe it or not, gathering the idea is probably the easiest part of the Chief Innovation Officers three primary responsibilities. With that being said, it is also one of the areas that most organizations do the worst. To gather Ideas you have to do the following:
- Be open to new ideas.
- Ask the right questions.
- Provide an incentive to participate
Let’s assume we are all open to new ideas and get into asking the right questions. When you are trying to gather ideas you have to ask focused and open-ended questions. You must identify a problem prior to seeking ideas on how to solve it. Too many organizations just ask for any idea but that only works for small problems. But for real change you must identify real problems and ask questions that provoke thought that can lead to real solutions. For example:
- How can we improve public transportation?
- What is something that we can do to reduce crime?
Or start with a clarifying statement and then a question:
- We are currently suffering from aging road infrastructure, high demands for new infrastructure and a dwindling budget. What are some ways that we can maintain and develop road infrastructure with a limited budget?
- The unemployment rate in our area continues to rise and is much higher than other areas in the region. How can we get people into jobs and improve the unemployment rate in our area?
Once you have identified the problem and the questions, you must then identify the platform that you will use to gather the ideas. The platform must be open, allow for discussion and provide incentives.
Ideas must go from submission, then to engagement and then to implementation. You need a platform or tool to accomplish the first two phases.
Check out SPIGIT’s free version at https://icon.spigit.com/.
Please do not forget to check out part 2, selling ideas to continue on your journey of becoming a Chief Innovation Officer.