Finding and Keeping Innovation Champions


Segment 1: Finding and Keeping Innovation Champions

What are innovation champions?

  • Passionate about an idea
  • Will do almost anything to see the idea become a reality

Why are they iimportant?

  • Give me a person with passion and I can build a team that will succeed
  • An innovation champion, in many cases, is the difference between success and failure

How do you find them?

  • Ask people “what are you working on that is exciting?”.  The passion will come out …
  • Look for people with a unique voice on their passion (blogs, social network sites, etc)

How do you keep them?  What motivates them?

  • They want to realize their dream
  • Protect them from the corporate anti-bodies
  • Give the champion the authority to be the advocate for the vision
  • Use proper resource management (constrained innovation) to ensure success

Be careful to avoid the “1 hit wonders”

  • Be aware that champions go through ups and downs depending on the cycle of their projects
  • Think two the three projects ahead of your champions
  • Challenge them with “hard problems” for them to solve on their next projects

If you are a champion, how do you make yourself known?

  • Share your authentic passion
  • Contribute to existing projects (show off your passion)
  • Create your portfolio

Segment 2: Creativity Exercise – The McGyver/Apollo 13 Method

You are given a problem/objective

Open your desk drawer, purse, briefcase

Only use items you have

Create as many ideas within 20 minutes


  • You got to work and realized your forgot to get a gift for co-workers upcoming wedding
  • Use only items within your reach
  • Each idea you develop must be practical (describe its uses)
  • Each idea must be made from two or more items

How many can you come up with in 20 minutes?

List your ideas in the comments … send me photo’s and I will post them …

Segment 3: Listener Question

How do you find adjacencies for an innovation? (Byron)

Zoom - 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions - Is a sponsor of the Killer Innovations Show

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