Those who don't adapt, get kicked out mercilessly. But how can you innovate optimally? How do you make the right choice without wasting time and money? For ZigZag magazine, Peter Daels explained how to use a scientifically proven approach to find efficient Innovation Dream Teams, put them together and lead to results. (Go to ZigZagHr to read the original article in Dutch)

Ambidextrous companies

Companies are facing a difficult double task. They have to make a profit today, but at the same time they have to look ahead to an uncertain future. Profitability is about short-term operational decisions: how do I optimize my existing business? Innovation requires a long-term vision on things that are not yet known.

Companies that manage to combine daily operations with long-term innovation are called ambidextrous organizations. After all, companies are not made to innovate, they are especially good at optimizing processes. Moreover, it is always people who innovate, not organisations.

Wanted: Ideator, Champion and Implementer

What matters is selecting, placing together and supporting the right people. So there is an important strategic role for HR. Strong innovation teams are not created on the basis of seniority or hierarchy. Experience is important, but optimal teams need something else.

Why is someone more innovative than someone else? Can you determine that in an objective way? With these questions we went to Professor Frederik Anseel and his team at UGent. Extensive scientific research and practical testing showed 20 important skills for successful innovation. We distinguish three basic profiles: Ideator, Champion and Implementer. The research also showed that innovation really accelerates through the collaboration of these three profiles in one team.

Globally unique test

This led to the current online test to map the level of innovation skills of employees objectively and scientifically. Who are our innovation talents? Who is already on board, which profiles are lacking and should we either recruit or train internally? But even if there is a threat of reorganization, it is best to keep our strongest innovators on board.

Assemble an optimal innovation team yourself

The right mix of innovation profiles in one team makes all the difference. Through you can create Innovation Dream Teams to accelerate innovation. This way you create an innovation culture, so you can distinguish yourself and take the lead, together with your people. Because people make the difference, also in innovation.

(photos: Caroline Dupont)

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