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Creating a corporate innovation competency

A newly formed company (the result of a massive corporate reorganization) needed to create a corporate innovation group basically from scratch. Innovation was viewed as a critical competency of the new company and the core of a new corporate innovation team was formed from a few individuals who had innovation experience and were excited by being given a ‘blank sheet’ to create a corporate innovation capability.

One of the top priorities of the new group was to hire people with the right mindset, skills and experience to fill the various innovation roles. But what gaps did the current team need to fill? What are the appropriate roles for this team in these circumstances? These questions, among others, needed to be answered.


Together, we produced the following outcomes


The leader of the new corporate innovation team needed to put together a new, world-class innovation group. He needed to figure out the various skills and proficiencies of the people in the group and determine where the gaps, the attributes of people they needed to hire and the specific job positions. Here’s what was done:

  • Benchmarked leading innovators in the US and Europe. Analyzed their innovation teams and processes.
  • Customized a list of the corporate innovation group’s Jobs-to-do and the innovation roles needed using Inovo’s innovation team design framework.
  • Assessed every team member according to a list of 36 innovation proficiencies that had been customized by the client using Inovo’ innovation proficiency framework.
  • Identified team proficiency gaps, roles that filled those gaps and job positions for people to fill these roles.
  • Customized Inovo’s comprehensive innovation interview guide (which was much different than the company’s ‘normal’ interviewing process) to assist the company in finding the right people to hire.


Over the course of 3 months the company interviewed over 25 individuals, the majority of whom were from outside the company and hired three new people to join the innovation group. These three new people would never have even been interviewed, much less hired, if the company had used their traditional hiring process.