c-suite be more involved in innovation

Helping Your C-Suite Be More Involved In Innovation

In Leadership Resources by Brandt A. Handley

Your C-Suite has many responsibilities throughout your Middle Market firm, certainly. They’re heavily involved in decision-making and overall strategic planning. One area you may have reduced their participation in could be innovation, for various reasons. Perhaps you feel their time is better spent on other key initiatives. Or maybe, you don’t know exactly how to best utilize their talents. Possibly, you have a team dedicated to innovation and feel they are doing a great job without executive involvement.

While they may currently help decide on your innovation budget, they could have more impact with more involvement. The C-Suite has unique skills and perspectives to shed light throughout your entire innovation cycle. Knowing where, how and when to use your C-Suite can lead to amazing innovation strategies.

What The C-Suite Can Contribute To Innovation

There are many reasons your executives can bring fantastic ROI to your innovation planning. Their prior experience within your organization and potentially outside knowledge is just a start. Your C-Suite’s education, demeanor, and overall goals can be essential pieces of a successful innovation program.

– Their position within your organization naturally affords them a top-level view. Therefore, they typically have better understanding of all the moving pieces of your Middle Market firm.

– They generally have a clearer idea of what is needed to guide ideas from thought to reality.

– Your executive team has intimate knowledge of your entire financial picture. Therefore, they can make more informed decisions about what innovation projects are financially sound.

– They will be able to ensure your innovation initiatives stay in line with your business strategy and overall growth goals.

– The C-Suite potentially has prior experience and knowledge of innovation hits and misses. So, they’ll shed light on how to best navigate through the process.

How To Best Include Your C-Suite In Innovation Initiatives

Certainly, the C-Suite is busy throughout your organization. So, you’ll have to make sure you utilize them to their utmost advantage. Developing a clear innovation planning strategy should include exactly what your executive team is needed for.

– Decide when it makes the most sense for the C-Suite to be involved and when their presence won’t be necessary.

– Plan evaluation and tracking methods to ensure executives don’t become a bottleneck.

– Determine how much time you’ll be pulling them away from their core duties and vital functions.

– Develop clear standards for how meetings and brainstorming sessions will progress. Use the C-Suite’s time effectively for better progress.

– Educate everyone involved to understand who has ultimate say or decision-making power. Will general consensus be used or does the C-Suite executive in charge of the overall affected department have the final decision-making abilities?

Your C-Suite has a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight they can bring to your innovation strategy so your Middle Market firm should work out how to involve them in your innovation process from start to finish. Use their unique skill sets and thought processes to help power your innovation strategy.

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