What developments are emerging in innovation management? We discussed with Dr. Søren Salomo, Professor for Technology and Innovation Management (TU Berlin), and summarized some of his theses for you.

Why innovation management?

An idea is not yet an innovation and a unique innovation does not turn a company into an innovative company. The task of innovation management is to ensure that a company is capable of permanent innovation. For some years now, efforts have been made to standardize this process.

ISO 56002:2019

In addition to controlling innovative processes, the model enables the early identification of their success factors and the promotion of continuous innovation in companies.

Integrating sustainability

In the past, innovation management has primarily focused on the economic success of innovations. But it is not only the Fridays for Future movement that makes it clear that younger generations are attaching more and more importance to sustainable thinking and acting. In his work with students, Prof. Dr. Salomo notes an increasingly critical attitude towards ‘unsustainable’ behaviour. He assumes that sustainability in the sense of ‘sustainability’ as well as social innovations must be integrated.

The trade journal ZOE (15.01.2019, Issue 01, Page 24 – 31, ZOE1290806) also provides a detailed account of this aspect in its article ‘Innovating for Good – How companies can realize their social added value’.


Digitization – Data as Innovation?

According to Salomo, social networks will in future be ‘the ear’ to the needs of the population. With regard to innovation management, he therefore advises: “Listen so that latent opportunities can be identified at an early stage! The rapid progress in data analysis supports the innovation process. At the same time, the data and its use are the innovation itself. They make it possible to adapt business models more quickly and make processes more agile.

The human being in innovation management

Despite digitalization: Innovation management does not work without people. From Salomo’s experience, companies need above all the role of process promoters, who mediate between experts (specialist promoters) and sponsors (power promoters), who know the minefield of the organization and can navigate around cliffs – plus so-called relationship promoters, who as networkers enable cooperation beyond the organizational boundaries.

At the same time, it is important to focus on the digital competencies of employees when managing innovation processes. In the interaction between man and machine, we are just at the beginning. A study by RWTH Aachen University on the current trends in mechanical engineering shows the dangers of development standstills and encourages more investment in smart technologies. Read more about this in the article by Prof. Dr. Frank Piller.

Innovation management with flow consulting

If you would like to learn more about the discussion with Prof. Dr. Salomo and further impulses, please contact us. We are happy to support you and your employees in the further development of your innovation management.

By the way: You can take a close look at your competencies with regard to innovations with our feedback tool ‘Future Skills for Leadership dynamic’. Thank you for your interest.

Best Regards

Anneli Gabriel

Foto: pixabay