What is your role in the innovation process?

16 of June 2017
Executive Education INCAE

We can imagine for a moment the company as a small village that depends on its capacity for innovation and where there are only 10 inhabitants, the essential minimums. Each one of them fulfills a role as part of an almost perfect team and makes a specific contribution to the process of looking for novelties that allow them to differentiate themselves from the competition. 

Something like this has put forward Tom Kelley, author of "The ten faces of innovation" and other best sellers like "The art of innovation" y "Creative Confidence", in addition to being a partner of the global design and innovation consultancy IDEO. His thesis is already known: the processes in a company go on human shoulders and therein lies its wealth. 

This is a summary, almost schematic, of Keley's approaches in "The ten faces of innovation". Let's review and try to imagine in which role your collaborators or ourselves fit.

1. Anthropologist: It is clear that he should not be an anthropologist by training, but he must be capable of understanding the human being through intuition and deep intelligence. You must have a great capacity for observation and questioning with great attachment to the possibility of accepting that what there is, there is, period. They are inspired by everyday experiences, although they have the ability not to fall into a routine. You should know how to identify the nuances in your target audience, beyond what they would answer in a survey.

2. Experimenter: is capable of passionate work, with a curious mind and an openness to chance finds. Failures or failures are not an obstacle, but a reason to improve. They have a taste for risk and do not pursue urgent success, they understand that the process is part of success. He does not stop learning and gives freshness to the organization. 

3. Interpollinator: creates ideas by surprisingly connecting other ideas. Has imagination to place elements in different contexts. He has a lot of information in his head from trips made, movies, books. You can be an interpollinator in time, thinking what used to be good now. Scarcity is an incentive to try new uses for existing things.

4. Show jumper: they are the opponents of the "devil's advocates." They love to prove that it can be done, turn lemons into lemonade. They are willing to work in the face of risks and without anxiety. 

5. Collaborators: they promote proactive joint action and willing to multidisciplinary teams. They are necessarily leaders. They are resilient and know how to respond assertively to the rejection of other people. 

6. Director of innovation: defines the innovation, sets the stage, brings out the best in the actors and actresses, polishes the project and theme, creates the chemistry, and ultimately gets the job done. He's a Steven Spilberg. He is responsible for the helm, he solves what is today and sees the future path, very aware of the fundamental objectives of the company. You must be wise to choose a team to delegate to.

7. Experience architect: they could be magicians because they turn a product or service into an experience, like airlines. They seek to awaken the senses. They know the customer like the back of their hand and they know what is essential, to know the "journey" of customers in their daily activities.

8. Set designer: The workspace is very eye-catching and can make people make decisions for it. Leave that task to that outstanding collaborator on it; it can be vital to the productivity of your business.

9. Caregiver: Empathic, works to improve relationships. Shows instead of giving lessons and accompanies decision-making. It simplifies and humanizes complex processes thinking about the experience of the target audience.

10. Narrator: He is the one who knows how to tell the facts and extract the collective lessons, aware that people and organizations like to see their own story told. It narrates the impact of the organization's work and inspires the rest of the team. It is the builder of stories and, therefore, builder of symbols.


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