For a company to be successful in the area of innovation there is a critical need for leadership. This expectation is the same with any endeavor involving a group of people, whether it is a book club, a sports team, or the research and development department of a company. If there is a goal, then there needs to be a leader to facilitate the group’s pursuit of the goal. According to a study done by IESE Business School and Capgemini Consulting, the CEO must play a large role in leading the innovation culture. If the senior leadership is not involved in the innovative processes, then a disconnection will occur between the innovation management and the executive authorities.
Without the support of the CEO, the innovative environment could suffer from the pressure to perform and a lack of understanding. Another suggested benefit to having the participation and leadership of the executives, is the balance of the approach to the future. The senior management will usually have the long term goals and progression in mind, whereas the innovation peer group may only consider the short term needs and goals. From the results of this study, there is a positive relationship between a company’s innovation success rate and the presence of an executive responsible for innovation. This information is important for companies approaching the creation of a successful innovation culture and the leadership necessary.
The senior executives should adopt, promote, and be held accountable for the innovation processes in the company. Clear lines of communication between the executives and the innovation peer groups will enable success through understanding. Innovation managers should be responsible for facilitating the innovative process and supporting the elements that are congruent with the company’s strategy and goals.