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What is an innovation manager

What is an innovation manager

By daniele

06An innovation manager is an employee whose responsibilities are focused on the development of new products, services, or processes. These managers are also tasked with creating the strategy and culture necessary for employees to experiment with the right resources at the right level to support that experimentation.

While organizations don’t use the title often, they often create specific positions to oversee innovation teams that are experts in project management, strategic thinking, and leadership, nurturers of individual and collective creativity, and creators of ideation, prototyping, and production processes and procedures.

They must also have the ability to balance the risks with the potential rewards of their teams’ work, depending on organizational risk tolerance and organizational goals, as well as other factors.

In general, people in these positions often have titles such as director of innovation, vice president of innovation, and product innovation manager, and because companies expect staff in managerial and executive ranks to demonstrate their skills, an innovation manager is expected to meet these standards by helping the organization grow and succeed.

Innovation management

The demand for vacancies for specialized innovation management personnel has been growing as the field of innovation research has expanded over the last two or three decades.

And while some forward-thinking companies known for their innovative practices have been training their human capital in the area for decades, it has only been a matter of the last few years that new companies have become involved in this approach.

These entities recently added courses on innovation, and several universities now offer degree programs, but keep in mind that training is only part of what makes an individual skilled in innovation management.

Experience in helping to build something from scratch and then scale it is also a critical part of becoming a successful innovation manager. Not to mention that innovation managers tend to be creative and visionaries, with the ability to see opportunities and the business acumen to guide ideas from the visionary stage to production, so it’s not just about academic training.

Innovation manager salary and job outlook

The average national salary for innovation managers is $83,165 per year. Your salary may vary depending on your education level, skills, location, certifications and duties. For example, by obtaining additional certifications, you may have the chance to earn a higher wage.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have job outlook data for innovation managers, they predict employment for training and development managers to increase by 11% from 2020 to 2030.


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