Innovation Roles

Jul 23, 2023

Companies are always looking for ways to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. However, innovation is not a one-person job. Global organisations often have various innovation roles to foster creativity, develop new ideas, and drive progress. In fact, in the rapidly evolving landscape of today, staying ahead of the competition requires a much broader array of people, skills and roles. Innovation is not a function, it is a set of skills that must be present across the organisation. In this post, we'll take a look at the top innovation roles across global organisations: 

Chief Inovation Officer (CIO): The executive responsible for overseeing and driving the organization's innovation strategy, initiatives, and culture.

Innovation Manager/Director: Leads and manages innovation projects, coordinates innovation teams, and implements innovation strategies.

Innovation Strategist: Analyzes market trends, conducts research, and develops innovation plans aligned with the organization's goals.

Design Thinking Specialist: Facilitates design thinking workshops and employs human-centered approaches to problem-solving and product development.

Product Manager: Drives the development and improvement of products or services, often incorporating user feedback and market insights.

R&D (Research and Development) Specialist: Conducts research and experiments to develop new products, technologies, or processes.

Intrapreneur/Corporate Entrepreneur: Employees who act as entrepreneurs within the organization, developing new ventures or projects.

Data Scientist/Analyst: Utilizes data to identify opportunities for innovation, makes data-driven decisions, and supports innovation initiatives.

User Experience (UX) Designer: Focuses on improving the user experience of products or services, typically through research, design, and testing.

Open Innovation Specialist: Explores and manages collaborations with external partners, such as startups, research institutions, or customers, to access new ideas and technologies.

Technology Scout: Identifies and assesses emerging technologies that could be integrated into the organization's offerings.

Ideation Manager/Facilitator: Leads brainstorming sessions and idea generation workshops to encourage creative thinking among teams.

Project Manager/Coordinator: Oversees the execution of innovation projects, ensuring they stay on track and meet objectives.

Change Management Specialist: Supports the implementation of innovative ideas by managing the organizational and cultural changes that come with them.

Incubator/Accelerator Manager: Manages programs that support internal or external startups and helps them develop their innovative ideas.

Digital Transformation Specialist: Focuses on leveraging digital technologies to drive innovation and improve processes across the organization.

Sustainability Innovation Specialist: Develops and implements sustainable practices and environmentally friendly solutions within the organization.

Customer Insights/Market Research Analyst: Gathers customer feedback, conducts market research, and identifies unmet needs to drive innovation efforts.

Quality Assurance (QA) Innovation Specialist: Ensures that innovation projects meet quality standards and regulatory requirements.

Partnership/Alliance Manager: Identifies and establishes partnerships with other companies or organizations to drive innovation collaboratively.

innovation team


The world is constantly changing, and companies must innovate to stay ahead. By having the right people in the right roles, companies can increase their chances of developing successful innovations. If you're looking to build an innovation team, make sure to consider the roles we've discussed in this post.