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Role of Managers in Innovation

With the end-customer needs varying at high degrees in accordance to the changes in their standard of living and other economic factors, a proper recognition of the same must be made by the companies to survive and succeed in a highly competitive market. Identification of the needs and resulting it in end-products requires the company to have an innovative culture within the entity which is capable of bringing out the need into a reality. This article pin points the role played by the management in innovation.

The pre-requisite for any organisation is the creation of a culture which understands and works for coming up with newer ideas that can bring about a great change to the existing situations. An innovative culture is possible only when the employees have the support of its senior management who is willing to convince the stake holders the need for taking up the risk in research. Once done, they should discover managers who have knowledge of the world around him, including the changes that are happening in technology and its impact on his field of work. A good manager will try to evaluate the existing problems in the output of his work as this could be the source of an idea which has a scope for innovation. Keeping the eyes open at all times to explore opportunities can generate newer ideas. He would also keep vigil for the suggestions put forth by the team members and explore it for further chances of analysis.

On the recognition of an idea, the manager has to analyse it to know the viability of taking up a study on the same and the potential impact of it on the organisation. If feasible, he should get a team who have a creative mind to explore the unknown. He should have a good rapport with the other divisions of the organisation to get the essential skills and knowledge required to continue with the development of the new idea.

On a personal basis, the manager must be knowledgeable who should keep pace with the external and internal happenings and must be aware of its impact on the project-in-hand. He should be capable of creating a quest for knowledge in the minds of his team members. He should be supportive to their actions and must take up the role of a guide, mentor and a leader. He should be a role model to his team who has a clear-cut vision which is the driving force to his activities. He must be capable of learning from mistakes and must inculcate a similar attitude in the minds of his team members. A good innovative manager is also a great communicator who has the skill to impart and draw the ideas to and from his team.

Innovation requires the knowledge and the personal commitment from the management. To quote Umesh Gupta, “innovation …is directly proportional to the attitude of senior management”.

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