The Chief Innovation Officer: Is It CIO, CNO, or CINO ?

Blog By Sean Klein & Bill Poston of Kalypso

The great Chief Innovation Officer acronym confusion has obscured a much more important conversation about the requisite responsibilities to do the job well. Just what is a Chief Innovation Officer?

The great Chief Innovation Officer acronym confusion has obscured a much more important conversation. Just what is a Chief Innovation Officer? I don’t care what acronym becomes the norm, but I am concerned about the number of executives claiming the mantle of Chief Innovation Officer without having the requisite scope of responsibilities to do the job well.

A Chief Technology Officer can’t just change their title and expect to dramatically improve their organization’s innovation results from within R&D. Likewise, simply changing “Information” to “Innovation” in your title doesn’t fundamentally alter your role. The “New CIO” is not just a more creative version of the Chief Information Officer. At their core, these roles are radically different.

The role of the Chief Innovation Officer is to drive innovation capabilities across functions and geographies to deliver better business results. In large, multinational, multi-business unit companies, this role typically has limited positional authority. A successful Chief Innovation Officer is a master of influence. They formulate strategy and establish a coalition of individuals across business units, functions, and geographies to improve the execution of all types of innovation. This includes innovation beyond products to include service, business model, channel and commercial innovation. Importantly, they also lead the development of domain expansion and incubate disruptive innovations that might not survive in an established business. –

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