Chief Innovation Officer Search

The Good Search is counted among the leading CINO Search Firms in the industry. We have been recruiting Chief innovation Officers since CINOs have been a thing. We get innovation. That is why we have served as a strategic recruitment partner of the Office of the CTO of Microsoft and have recruited heads of engineering to Google. It is why we have recruited to top-tier venture capital-backed startups. In doing so, we have cultivated trusted relationships with the leading innovators in the business.

We are extraordinarily connected. We offer concierge-quality service. Better yet, our investigative approach makes executive search smarter, ensuring you get the Chief Innovation Officer you need. 

The Case for Chief Innovation Officer

Innovation is essential strategy for most businesses. But remarkably, companies find it hard to do innovation well. Enter the Chief Executive Officer (CINO).  More than a decade ago the role was non-existent. Today, surveys indicate more than 60% of companies have a designated Chief Innovation Officers. Demand has grown as companies discover just how hard innovation is to do well.

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What a Chief Innovation Officer Does

Alessandro Di Fiore describes A Chief Innovation Officer’s Actual Responsibilities in The Harvard Business Review. Drawing on research from his role as Founder and CEO of the European Centre for Strategic Innovations, he explains there are seven key roles in the CINO’s mission:

  1. Supporting best practices.
  2. Developing skills.
  3. Supporting business units in new product and service initiatives.
  4. Identifying new market spaces.
  5. Helping people generate ideas.
  6. Directing seed funding.
  7. Designing shelter for promising projects.

CINO Executive Search Firms must do more than understand the basic requirements of the role of Chief Innovation Officer or Head of Innovation. CINO headhunters must also understand innovation process — from search and ideation to incubation to execution. In addition, they must also have the ability to inform search strategy with actionable market intelligence on the innovation talent ecosystem and to reel in top-performing CINO leaders.

Innovating with a Chief Innovation Officer

Another Harvard Business Review article speaks to What It Really Means to Be a Chief Innovation Officer. Author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg writes a growing number of companies have Chief Innovation Officers or similar — in excess of 40%. In studying Chief Innovation Officers, he learned successful innovation leaders do two things.

“First of all, they are adamant about measuring their real-world impact, even though this is much more difficult than using process metrics like “ideas generated” or something similar. Secondly, they do not commit to those metrics at once, or accept external ones. Rather, they start by creating flexibility in their role — often taking a year or longer  to do so, which means that they have time to define their own metrics for success.”

To be successful, Chief Innovation Officers need time to innovate and to measure what they invent.

“In sum: If you are going to take an innovation job, make sure to buy yourself some time, and then, use that time to make sure you make a difference.”

Companies have experimented with how best innovate. Some companies tried giving multiple teams a mandate to innovate. Yet the teams competed for resources and duplicated each other’s efforts. Other companies simply added innovation to the responsibilities of their senior leaders. But those executives focused more on what they were doing rather than on what they could be doing differently. Experiments in innovation returned the same result. To innovate well, you need a dedicated innovation leader.

CINO Headhunters

CINO headhunters who know their stuff understand the process of innovation. They also understand how important it is to find innovation leaders with the gravitas necessary to manage the expectations of key stakeholders. The Good Search is counted among the top CINO headhunters in the business because innovation is our passion: Chief Innovation Officers (CINOs) are our people. 

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