Innovation Talent: Questions, Perspectives and Good Reads


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Braden Kelley recently wrote a great white paper, Harnessing the Global Talent Pool to Accelerate Innovation, in which he shared ideas and insights on how companies should develop strategies for attracting talent to their innovation efforts.

If you follow my work, you know that I really care about the people side of innovation and I want to dig deeper into the idea of innovation talent.

What is this? How can we identify and develop it? How can companies get the most value out of innovation talent? How can individuals take action for themselves and increase their value on the job market by becoming innovation talents? Those are some of the questions that I want to look into in the near future.

The first step will be two blog posts in which I share my views on innovation talent with a corporate and a personal perspective.

It would be great to hear your early thoughts on innovation talent in general and in particular on the corporate and personal perspectives.

As a discussion starter, I have gathered a list of good reads that I hope can inspire you to drop some comments here.

I look forward to hearing your ideas, insights and perspectives!

The Four Worst Innovation AssasinsScott Anthony

Academic research in fact shows that almost anyone can become a competent innovator (with sufficient practice). I’ve seen countless examples of ordinary individuals displaying the creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance of the world’s great innovators.

Those people can only be effective in the right context, but, ironically, many of the things leaders do to encourage innovation actually kill it. Look carefully at your company and you might spot one of four types of unintentional innovation assassins.

5 Functions for Open Innovation Meets Social Media Efforts – 15inno

You need five functions to build a strong, internal team that can take the lead and help other innovation people extract value out of the intersection between open innovation and social media. They are researchers, communicators (writers), networkers, speakers and digital natives. Read more in the post.

Ten Faces of Innovation – Tom Kelley (IDEO)

Are you a Cross-Pollinator? Do you work with a Hurdler? Or a Storyteller? These are just a few of the roles that Tom Kelley, author of the bestselling Art of Innovation, suggests that people can play in an organization to foster innovation and new ideas—and fend off creativity-stifling naysayers.

Inspired by the roles that Tom has seen emerge at IDEO, the leading design firm where Kelley is general manager, The Ten Faces of Innovation is filled with engaging stories of how businesses have used innovation and design thinking to transform customer experience.

Harnessing the Global Talent Pool to Accelerate Innovation – Braden Kelley

This is what you learn by reading this paper:

1. Why having an external talent strategy is becoming increasingly important
2. How leading organizations manage their open innovation and crowdsourcing efforts
3. Strategies for attracting talent to your organization’s innovation efforts

7 Critical Personal Competencies for Open Innovation Success – 15inno / Gail Martino

Here you get seven critical personal competencies needed for open innovation success according to Gail Martino, Open Innovation Manager at Unilever.

Driving Innovation In Large Corporations II: Three Case Studies – Bill Aulet

Intrapreneurship is about identifying, developing and unleashing people who can make a difference in a corporate setting. Here you get an overview of how Danfoss, HP and Qualcomm did this.

You can also check out two of my reads on intrapreneurship:

Intrapreneurship: An Overlooked Tool for Corporate Growth
How to Start a Corporate Business Plan Competition

The Five People of Innovation – Pinchot

According to Pinchot, they are idea people, intrapreneurs, the intrapreneurial team, the sponsor and the climate maker.

Getting People Ready for Open Innovation – 15inno

Leaders of successful small companies understand how important it is to have the right people in the right position. When resources are slim, the ability of everyone to do their job well matters tremendously. One or two weak links can spell the difference between success and failure.

So it will come as no surprise when I say that people matter more than ideas when it comes to making innovation of all types happen. You should take a moment to think about that because many innovation initiatives fail miserably because their leaders don’t understand this simple fact.

The Goldmine Effect – Rasmus Ankersen

This is a book/resource site by a high performance anthropologist working hard to crack the code on leadership and winning mentality. I have not read his new book, but many of his articles (in Danish) have been very insightful.

Teamwork and Innovation – 15inno

In this post, I share my views on the different types of people and functions needed for innovation teamwork and you get insights from other thoughtleaders and practitioners.

Why Innovative People Fail – Forbes

Interview with Mike Maddock inlcuding this piece: “The secret to success, he says, is that “great leaders learn to find a yin for their yang. They have to learn to have humility. They’re passionate about something, and they have to find someone equally passionate about their [areas of] weakness.” Business lore is full of classic examples – Walt and Roy Disney, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and Bill Gates and Paul Allen.”

7 Habits of Highly Innovative People – based on Steve Berkun’s work

Seven habits found in highly innovative and creative people organized and summarized from Scott Berkun’s “the myths of innovation“.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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