What it takes to become an innovation manager!

Published on 18 May 2023 at 14:45

What is an innovation manager?

An innovation manager is responsible for managing a companies innovation strategies, introducing new ideas, developing organisational culture and communicating innovations within an organisation. They assess current processes of a company and look to implement new technological processes and develop new products and services to drive growth and establish a competitive advantage. This is a key role in a modern leadership models on ensuring that every part of the business operates at a consistently high level to disperse leadership responsibility throughout the organisation. 

Lets look further into the skills set of what it takes to be an innovation manager!

-> To succeed in this, an innovation manager needs to be a good communicator and a peoples person. But also needs to understand the business extremely well, including the realities of how the practical day-to-day work and the related technologies function.

-> They need to be good at managing projects and managing change. 

-> Good planning and communication, as well as the management of different stakeholders and their expectations. In addition, you have to manage schedules and identify potential challenges and obstructions and find ways to get past them.

-> To exceed even further you must actually need to be much more than just an enabler.

-> You must need a great deal of strategic insight, insight into future trends and technologies, business acumen, as well as leadership skills and analytical thinking.

-> Insatiable curiosity and hunger to learn, as well as mental toughness.

Open Innovation graph - Pinterest

Carina Leue-Bensch on the role of an innovation manager



Siobhan Keam

Siobhan is a director of business innovation for Condé Nast. She runs innovation projects, currently focuses on memberships, community building and experimenting with new technologies. 

Conde Nast is one of the world's most renowned  media companies creating and distributing every type of media today including; print, video and film, digital, audio and social. Widening influence through technology.


Her experience goes back to January 2017 where she started as project admin and product development, then in Sept 2017 - Jan 2020, she moved up to Agile project manager where she, successfully managed the transition of fashion show image production from New York to London. This included developing a custom CMS and front-end application with the development and design team, launching with five international markets and running workshops and training with top stakeholders at Vogue. After success she became the innovation manager and then senior innovation manager only a year later. Whilst in the senior position she led cross-functional teams through an innovation process designed to generate and test ideas for building new revenue streams within Condé Nast. Innovation projects worked on include Vogue Business, Vogue Club, Condé Nast College licensing. Finally, from April 2023 Siobhan has now become the director of business innovation. 

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