The personal competencies needed for open innovation success is a topic that I really care about and thus it is a key element in my book, The Open Innovation Revolution and in many of my blog posts.
This time, I am pleased to be able to share some perspectives from Gail Martino, Open Innovation Manager at Unilever in the form of excerpts from a presentation given by Gail a few months ago.
Personally, I think it is great to see how a company such as Unilever recognizes how important soft skills are for open innovation. Gail, thanks for sharing this!
Here you get seven critical personal competencies needed for open innovation success according to Unilever.
– see opportunities and drive an opportunity forward with and within an organization…sometimes before the organization knows they need it.
• Is aware of and enables new ideas – from anywhere
• At ease outside their “comfort zone”
• Non complacent – boundary pusher
• Self-driven; Risk taker
• Not afraid to fail
Talent for Relationship Building:
– within and outside the organization.
• Is Genuine – Builds trust
• Represents the partner well to the organization
• Listener – Key for building Win-Win deals
– to persuade, inspire and garner support.
• Politically astute, high organizational awareness
• Knows when, how and with whom to gain support
• Top notch communication skills
– self-driven to become up to speed in new areas (critical skill to help showcase and gain support of others).
• Ability to develop expertise, sometimes outside of their area of expertise quickly
• Curious • Resourceful
Tolerance for Uncertainty:
– able to manage high risk projects and make decisions without perfect information about outcome.
• Manages risks through milestones and keeps moving forward
• Doesn’t plan for failure – plans to avoid it
– keeps above the fray.
• Knowledgeable about risks as well as rewards
• Overcomes moods and emotional states to keep moving forward
• Nonreactive; Evaluates criticism but moves on
– energy to more forward and overcome roadblocks.
• Infectious energy
• Sees opportunity, not just issues