When Céline Schillinger looked around her workplace she saw that the system didn’t value the diversity of competencies that different people could bring. They were being wasted. The system was focusing on a very narrow bandwidth of talents and always promoted the same kind of people, coming from the same background, and with the same kind of thinking. She decided to do something about it. Céline was called a troublemaker by her bosses, but thanks to her passion to grow and improve on rigid corporate systems, she was awarded Woman of the Year — La Tribune Women’s Awards in 2013. Céline is now the Head of Quality Innovation & Engagement at Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi.
Many leaders of corporate innovation efforts struggle to get the support they need from executives higher up in the organization. Top executives can be skilled at talking the talk about innovation, especially in public venues, but frequently fail to walk the walk when it comes to making key choices that determine whether an innovation project will happen or die on the vine.
Innovation and more of it has become the mantra of top management. The ability to innovate and thereby sustainably create value for the business is becoming the defining competitive advantage for companies which want to thrive in a globalized economy. So obviously, driving innovation is a key job for top management, the CEO and the C-Suite. But what about the Board? What role should it play in the innovation game – if any?
When you ask Executives what they want beyond short profit and revenue growth they’ll likely say ‘more innovation’. Why? Because they face unprecedented business challenges. Let’s look back. The current modern corporation was invented about 100 years ago – at the start of the 20th century. That’s when the big companies were born like the US railroad companies, US Steel, the big banks, IG Farben. Some exist still today (GE).
What role does the C-Suite have in exercising the company’s innovation governance responsibilities? In this article, the last in a series of five, professor Jean-Philippe Deschamps, defines six domains that are essential to organize and mobilize for innovation. They will condition the way innovation will be carried out and sustained by the organization and hence belong to the prime innovation governance duties of the top management team.
Is innovation part of the governance mission of boards of directors? At first sight, the answer seems to be “no”. In this new series of two articles professor Jean-Phillipe Deschamps delves deeper into the specific role of the board of directors and that of top management in exercising their innovation governance responsibilities.
While serving as CEO of MySQL AB, Mårten Mickos had a falling out with a founder of the company. These types of situations are common in startups, says Mickos, especially between original founders and new management teams. Mickos explains why he made some tough choices out of dedication to the employees he had brought on board.
The top management team of an organization is arguably the most important team for deciding and implementing innovation strategies. They typically decide which markets to be entered, which markets to be exited, and which new technologies to pursue. But decision making is fraught with biases – errors in judgment that affect the quality of decisions. Sometimes with devastating results. In this post we will see how basic human psychology affects the decision making of top management teams.
If you are not one of the lucky few to work in one of the most innovative companies in the world, you’ve probably thought at some point “we really need to innovate.” Gijs van Wulfen provides practical advice on where to begin.