Chief innovation officer

Chief innovation officer
See also

The term Chief Innovation Officer was derived from the book "Fourth Generation R&D: Managing Knowledge, Technology, and Innovation" by William L. Miller Langdon Morris in 1999. A popular definition expalins that A Chief Innovation officer is responsible for managing and controlling the innovation process. They also "[originate] new ideas but also [recognize] innovative ideas generated by other people" according to Heidrick and Struggles (2010).

Roles of a CINO[edit]

Being a Chief Innovation Officer includes the following

  • Assisting your team by providing materials and tools for innovation
  • Implementation and development of tools supporting the optimal shaping of processes
  • Supervision and coordination of the implementation process while creating new products
  • Continuous improvement of existing products and team support
  • Identify projects that have promise, and allocate funds into them
  • Communicating with workers, supervisors, managers, and higher positions to increase innovation

What does it Take to be a Successful CINO[edit]

To be a successful Chief Innovation Officer, you need to possess certain qualities, such as leadership, creativity, communication, and determination. A good CIO will be able to help out a company in numerous way such as providing high quality products or coming up with revolutionary ideas. The Chief Innovation Officer should have wide variety of knowledge on business and the processes behind one. They should have plenty of experience leading or working in an innovation position. Many companies expect their Chief Innovation Officer to have multiple years experience behind their back in similar positions to even be hired.

The ability to look into the future also plays a great role, as they need to figure out in which way the market is leaning toward.

It is also very crucial to divert some of your abilities to your innovation team. You need to build bridges from the ideas of your workers and help them realize their thoughts. Help the workers achieve something by offering the right incentives and conditions. Remember to communicate with them frequently and let them express their ideas. Provide them with constructive feedback and not rejection. Rejection or pressure is no way to enhance the innovation process as workers will not want to share their ideas anymore.

However, a Chief Innovation Officer is little to nothing without a team supporting them. Forbes's 2016 Article titled "Why You Should Eliminate Your Chief Innovation Officer" stated that "Everyone is responsible for innovating, creating and leading" and "... A Chief Innovation Officer can be an effective catalyst for change, as long as that person's charter is to create the right conversations and underlying business processes that connect the appropriate functions in a powerful and integrated way". This implies that one person should not be in charge of all the innovation behind a company. This is why a team is required to succeed. Communicating, and involving everyone in the innovation process is the key to being a successful Chief Innovation Officer.


  • Heidrick & Struggles (Time Inc. website) June 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. "What Makes a Successful Chief Innovation Officer?"
  • Shubber Ali & Nathan Bull ( 2013) "5 Key Success Principles – the Cure for Innovation Envy"
  • Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg (Harvard Business Review, Website 2014) "What It Really Means to Be a Chief Innovation Officer"
  • George Bradt (2016) Forbes (Website) "Why You Should Eliminate Your Chief Innovation Officer"
  • Sneha Banerjee (2017) Entrepreneur (Website) "Why Organizations Today Need to Hire Innovation Officers"

Author: Krzysztof Nagaba-Poniatowski