Just when I got completely comfortable at my new role, I realized that everything around me would change very quickly. The business of innovation is going through rapid and urgent transformation.
Innovation, As It Used To Be
The primary focus of a corporate innovation officer’s role has been to enable advancement of business and technical capabilities. Part of my job is to prepare and ready Softtek for morphing markets and industries. I read and follow markets, I keep up with leadership within Softtek, and I set an innovation focus and agenda at the beginning of every year. For the most part, I have believed that my role with Softtek would remain static. I was so wrong.
It seems that I am no longer required to innovate. Yes, I was hired and continue to be responsible for market facing innovation here at Softtek. And, yet, the joy of innovation is now being transferred to those around me and across all levels of Softtek.
The new trend for innovation officers embraces the notion that we are responsible for encouraging, embracing, and lobbying for change. However, the change itself will come from all avenues and corners of a company. We are, so to speak, simply the innovation evangelists.
My new job is no longer to strategize and find avenues to innovate. My new job is no longer about implementing Softtek’s growth strategies with matching new initiatives. My new job is no longer to go hunting for innovation, talent, and technologies. That was the job of the old innovation officer.
The New Innoventures
My new role, very unfamiliar, is entirely about building collaborative innovation environments. To start that process rolling, we have been delving into multiple areas within Softtek. We are closely studying how to better channel customer centric innovation, invite innovation from across the corporation, or better spur continuous innovation through our corridors.
This also means bringing an end to some of Innoventures’ existing practices, including running an accelerator every year. We will no longer invest in a few to drive large-scale changes within Softtek. Instead, we will introduce a platform that empowers anyone to step up and offer strategic, market-facing solutions.
While the shape and form of the new Innoventures platform remains fuzzy, we do know that there will be a huge shift to transfer the burden and rewards of innovation to our consultants and those in the field – who, at the end of the day, best understand our customers and our markets.
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