Synthesis delivered seven core roles played by innovation, innovators, and innovation managers.
1.) Change Agent
2.) Value Creator
3.) Customer Satisfier
5.) Strategy / Strategist
6.) Opportunity Generator
7.) Wealth Creator
Roles are like layers of an onion. The outermost are superficial. That is, titles and functions don’t say much. The real power shows up in behaviors, responsibilities defined and accepted, and commitments to strategy and action.
Knowing such behavioral roles changes viewpoints and influences perceptions, decisions, and follow-through. Perceptions, in turn, impact who innovation is and what it can accomplish. When roles are unclear, innovation flounders in tactical waste and frustration. Clarity of shared roles magnifies every type of strength.
Since few innovators ever think about their roles, even just conceptual awareness changes the nature of performance and opens competitive edge. Let’s look quickly at each role.