A Chief Information / Innovation Officer is responsible for driving innovation throughout the entire organization.
First of all, we have to point out that a good Innovation manager has to develop some important skills that are the base of a good performance. These skills are for instance, project management, risk management, communication or financial knowledge as well. Team management is without any doubt, the most important skill because from my point of view, people is the key for the success of any project.
We might say that the main goal of an Innovation manager is helping the business, but how can we do that? There are two relevant goals, first, we must help the business, providing not the best available technology but the most suitable and aligned with the strategy of the company. On the other hand, we have to analyse and improve the business processes, we can do that trough meeting, called the voice of the costumer, where we try to understand expectations, gains and pains of our co-workers and afterwards we are ready to design a prototype of the solution in order to give them a quick idea, if they approve the proposal we can then develop it. If not we restart a new prototype with a new proposal.
The other goal of an Innovation manager must be leading the innovation. Innovation begins studying the market, and costumer trends and current or future competitors as well. Other point is to take into account the regulations that affect the market and that might limit or even ban your project.
Leading innovation means also leading teams, that might be internal, for instance a set of workmates with proper capabilities or external, as universities or other companies or even start-ups.
At last, we combine all these skills to maintain the pace of innovation inside the company, that might be the most difficult challenge of an Innovation manager.