4 Roles that Fire Up Your Innovation Management Process

http://us.fotolia.com/id/65467511Super Bowl XLIX is coming up this Sunday. The Seahawks and the Patriots – and all successful football teams – have one main feature in common: each player has a well-defined role.

Teams pursuing innovation will also benefit from well-defined roles. In the book Employee Driven Quality, the authors identify four roles necessary to fire up your innovation management process.

1. The Idea Maker

The Idea Makers are the employees who will be submitting ideas. They initiate innovation and all potential new projects. These are your team’s centers; they are needed to initiate the whole process.

2. The Idea Manager

The Idea Managers coordinate the implementation of the idea. They will be the employees who brainstorm how to move concepts to reality. Idea managers are the quarterbacks of the team, trying out plays until the team can at least get a first down.

3. The Idea Installer

Idea Installers assist the managers with achieving the “reality” stage. The managers should offer creative insight, but the installers are the realists who decide what will work. Idea installers are your running backs and wide receivers; once they receive the idea, it is their job to actually get it to the end zone.

4. The Idea Coach

Every team requires a coach. Idea Coaches supervise the whole operation by helping to facilitate idea creation. They should be the Managers’ and Installers’ best resources for feedback on the feasibility of ideas.


Just like successful football teams, successful innovation also requires well-defined roles. These four roles can be a great asset for successful innovation, and in small teams one person can even take on multiple roles. When your team understands these roles and how they work together, more of your first downs will lead to innovation touchdowns.

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Lauren MacLeod

Hello, I'm your author, Lauren MacLeod. I spend a lot of my time researching the best practices for innovation management, and writing articles to share them. I hope you find them helpful! I work at Accompa - one of our products is IdeaGlow innovation management software.

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