Modern day business can be a pretentious affair - from minimalist office spaces to absurd job titles, modern-day managers continuously seem to come out with jargon that David Brent and Michael Scott would have been proud of.
Garbage collectors prefer to go by another job title these days; 'a waste management and disposal technician’ - I think even the proudest garbage collector would have a hard time explaining how picking up litter is a technical operation.
It’s possible that many of us would have grouped ‘The Chief Innovation Officer’ in this camp - after all, the word innovation is pretty difficult to define and has been used by companies with little regard for its meaning over the last five years or so.
Having said that, the haze of uncertainty around the term is becoming clearer and many are confident that they’ve cracked the innovation dilemma and subsequently how the Chief Innovation Officer can fit into their strategic framework.
Innovation is about not resting on your laurels - not being happy with success and assuming that today’s accomplishments will become redundant without change tomorrow. The business landscape has never been more dog-eat-dog.
This is why Chief Innovation Officer comes into their own. The role requires the ability to elevate a company above the rest, ‘banging the drum of innovation’ so that no stone is left unturned.
Look at Amazon - their model is filled with innovations - developing areas which are strong but not as strong as they could be - their next day delivery being a good example of this. The Chief Innovation officer ensures that these opportunities for innovation are never missed and that every employee is on the lookout for new ways to develop the business.
For those of us who once turned our noses up at the Chief Innovation Officer as a conceited title, it’s time that we face up to the fact that the role is essential to companies looking to operate effectively in such a frenzied landscape. The title isn’t just a fancy one for managers and their office doors, but a meaningful one which brings value to the organisation