How CIOs Inspire Innovation

An image by Fabrisalvetti
An image by Fabrisalvetti

Are the days of innovation truly gone? That is a question all companies must ask in order to sustain their economic health. Innovation means creating new solutions to promote future prospects. The days of strategizing and conjuring avenues of growth in order remain indispensable have fallen away to the rapid advance of technology and a growing pessimism about the world’s financial status.

The role of a chief information officer is to promote innovation. This individual must be forward-thinking enough to beat down the obstacles in its path. Without that type of progressive strategy, companies will lose their ability to inspire and that means no long-term drive and poor growth potential.

Fighting the Obstacles

Robert J. Gordon, a well-known economist, cites the aging workforce, rising debt, and poor educational standards as key players in the death of business innovation. An emerging preoccupation with the next fiscal quarter and the loss of financial backing for new projects are also culprits, according to noble laureate Edmund S. Phelps.

Technology offers many tools that push businesses forward but at a cost. Organizations must find a balance between driving innovation ahead and managing day-to-day business concepts. It is a puzzle companies are fighting to solve, but many fail to come up with a practical approach.

How CIOs Inspire Innovation

Successful companies weigh long-term business goals with their more immediate needs. The objective is to think far enough ahead to create new projects without losing sight of the current financial environment. The answer may be diversifying innovation into a separate sector. That means creating a new department that handles the forward-thinking objectives.

The job of this separate branch is to seek out innovation by investigating ideas from different sides of the business. They discuss concepts with the various areas of the company, like marketing and sales for example, in order to develop practical and creative future projects.

The Team Approach

A team approach to managing innovation allows businesses to spread the process throughout the organization. Elite teams create executable plans over a six to 12-month period. During each session, the collaborators establish priorities, develop strategies for execution, and control the obstacles in order to promote future opportunities.

It is the job of the CIO to create a distinctive answer based on the needs of the business. Investigating how successful Fortune 1000 companies handle their need for innovation is a start.