Should You Be Hiring Professional Innovators?

“Innovation” as a profession or a job responsibility is on the rise. Big companies are beginning to recognize there is a skill set and discipline to helping innovate their services, products and culture, says Julie Anixter (@julieanixter), Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Innovation Excellence, a global innovation community.

Anixter, who also holds the title of Chief Innovation Officer for Maga Design, says there is a true discipline to innovation. Think about agile development – it’s repetitive and iterative. It’s a lot of trial and error, and “if you codify that into a skill set, you’re really talking about innovation,” she says. A true innovator brings forth something new into the world that didn’t exist before.

People who innovate often have to fight uphill battles, because they’re constantly taking risks. Anixter says that fortunately, big companies are now trying to make risk-taking safer in order to stimulate that part of their business.

In order to find talent that’s capable of innovation, Anixter recommends looking for people who are do-ers and try-ers. Seek out those who aren’t afraid to take risks, and have a proven history of doing so.

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One Response to “Should You Be Hiring Professional Innovators?”

July 18, 2012 at 11:42 am, RealityCheckPlease said:

Ironically, innovation is definitely not encouraged in HR and Staffing departments. I’ve worked at 4 Fortune 500/100 companies as a staffing consultant in the last few years. I’ve discovered that when a corporate consulting recruiter job posting asks for “Thinking outside the box”? What they really mean is “Find more candidates using the exact tools,processes and methods we use now”. Or “Get paid for 8 hours, work 12”.

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