Leading Innovation: Keys to Success

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27 July 2014
Michael Fitzgerald


A Celent survey provides data to guide the selection of senior innovation leaders.

A consistent theme across all of Celent’s innovation research is that the people involved in the effort are the final differentiator between success and failure. However, there is little data to help guide the selection, development, and assessment of senior innovation leaders.

To close this gap, Celent partnered with Mick Simonelli, former senior innovation executive and thought leader, to survey 59 innovation professionals attending the Front End of Innovation Conference. The objective was to determine their priority ranking of the qualities of successful senior innovation leaders.

The survey explored four areas: technical skills, leadership qualities, personal attributes, and previous job experience. For each, the survey listed seven or eight characteristics. A forced ranking method was used to document the relative priorities between alternatives. Participants were asked to rank each characteristic from most important to least important.

The results form a snapshot of what, for this community of practitioners, contributes the most to the success of an innovation leader.

”This survey group has a unique perspective because they can speak from personal experience regarding what it takes to lead innovation,” says Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst and author of the report. “We encourage the use of these results in multiple areas, including senior leader selection, personal development planning for incumbents, team member selection, and team development.”

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