Innovation Manager - Profile
An innovation manager focuses on the development of new products, services or processes. A successful innovation manager must have required education, experience, competencies/skills, and a particular set of individual attributes.
- Innovation managers need a bachelor's degree in marketing, business, engineering, arts, graphic designs or communications or in any other similar field.
- Some employers prefer a master's degree or higher for innovation managers.
- Innovation managers in medium enterprises and startups should have a bachelor’s degree in project management, product management, or business development or similar fields. They assume job titles such as innovation product manager, innovation project manager or business developer.
- Individuals interested to become innovation managers can opt to join a professional organization like the Product Development and Management Association. The organization focuses on the full life cycle of product development and management activities, chief among them innovation.
- An innovation manager requires relevant work experience within a research and development department.
- He/she needs a combination of human resource, tech and business-related experience.
- Innovations management experience, either technology or social is necessary for an innovation manager.
- Having some years of experience in a related field such as project management or brand development is necessary to hold the position of an innovation manager.
- One must have experience in technological advancements complimented with capabilities in building products that people want and business cases that corporates can support.
- An innovation manager may be required to have experience of supporting and coordinating projects as well as commissioning and managing contracts with third party researchers.
- Innovation managers have outstanding communication skills. They’re great at understanding people and their needs, which in turn allows them to sell them on projects and timelines to keeps things moving.
- They know how to position things in a way that the other person can receive the information without feeling a sense of stress or anxiety.
- Creativity is among the most essential skills for innovation managers, since they are responsible for developing new products for an organization.
- They should also have strong interpersonal skills in order to collaborate with research and development or marketing personnel and organizational stakeholders.
- Innovation managers have strong strategic thinking skills. They critically think about ideas and strategically develop multiple perspectives regarding the ideas.
- They have excellent leadership skills and they are great facilitators and connectors.
- Innovation managers are competent in pulling in talents from multiple sections parts of the organization and leading various teams to make new things happen and transform ideas into realities.
- They are creative problem-solvers because they have technical skills to develop solutions.
- They are competent at working with complexities and puzzles and are drawn toward situations that require creative problem-solving skills.
- Innovation managers need excellent market research and analytical abilities to utilize market trends and customer data in their development of new products.
- Innovation managers believe: They have the ability to believe in the ideas their team is generating as well as in their team’s ability to implement those ideas. They have the gift of sharing their vivid strategic visions of the future while inspiring their teams to determine the best path to success.
- They embrace risk: Innovation requires risk, and innovation managers create a climate of trust for their teams to feel safe to toss around ideas. Innovation managers support their teams and embrace the risk that comes with invention and progress.
- Innovation managers are patient: Successful innovation managers create collaborative relationships that exude patience and a nurturing hand to guide their creative teams. They balance due dates with reasonable ideation and development time frames.
- They pitch ideas: Successful innovation managers are highly effective at pitching ideas and persuading others in the validity and possibility of their ideas.
- They are passionate: Successful innovation managers are passionate about the ideas and results that stem from a well-executed plan. Innovative managers make their strategies clear and pursue them tirelessly.