Management Teams of the future will be composed of Innovation Executives

Aiming for power and being in the power elite has been the motivation for many managers. After endless strive, education and struggles they suddenly have the power and discover that with the power follows obligations and demand for skills different from the ones enabling them to get the power.

Todays Board of Directors, CEOs, CFOs and Management Teams in general must realize that the administrative part of their task is a plain commodity delivered by thousands of Management teams. The real area of differentiation is leadership for Business Development, Innovation and Management of Creative Work.

Every existing company was founded by individuals, who had the talent to see a need and enjoying the creative journey to a product or service to cover that need. As the world has very few “Steve Jobs”, and as money always will be King, most companies are often much too early being taken over by administrators without skills for Business Development, Innovation and Management of Creative Work. This pattern is close to be the destiny of most entrepreneurship, so we better start to act on this. We shall make the Management Team the most important Innovation Team of the company.

It is my experience that every Board of Directors and Management Team can add innovation competencies to their well developed administration competencies. But they have to acknowledge their need for an Innovation Pathway and have to get started practicing.

A CEO asked me: “Will you come to our Head Office to give a peptalk to my Management Team regarding our need for Innovation in all business units?” My answer was: “No, thank you. This is not an item for  peptalks. This is a question of: Do you and your Management Team sincerely want to innovate? If so, then you, yourself better start to learn how to innovate. Are you prepared to let your Management Team use one complete day, every month, on the future of your business?’’ The answer was: “Yes, I accept your point of view. We want to follow the Innovation Pathway and Learn From Innovators by practicing.”

The Management Team learned to follow the Innovation Pathway. They enjoyed spending one day every month to: specify and initiate innovation projects, being an active Steering Committee, and realize by own experience that innovation is not only for Products and Services but “an approach to the entire business”.

To achieve and sustain power in business is, now and in the future, for managers who have acquired skills in Innovation, and Management of Creative Work.  

If you dare to imagine the future – you may come to own it.

Erik Keldmann

December 22, 2015
© Keldmann Innovation A/S