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Simon Colbeck, formerly of Marks and Spencer, recognised that being great at generating ideas is all very well, but you need people with different skills to shape and then deliver them.

“Everyone has the ability to be good at managing innovation, but the first thing to understand is what you’re really good at within the context of innovation.

I like to divide innovation into three categories. One is around idea creation and around identifying ideas; another is around selling and shaping them, and then the third is around delivering them.

And the key job of a good innovation manager is to understand what they are and build a team with the capability to do all three of those specific roles.

So for me, for example, one of the things I did in Marks & Spencer was I recognized that we were very good at creating ideas, but we weren’t that good at delivering them in a consistent way across the business.

So I created an innovation delivery manager’s role, which was very much around having somebody with a totally different skill set to the ideas experts, but who had a very good understanding of the business and how to get that delivered in the appropriate manner into the company.”

This is an abridged transcript of the video lesson – watch the video for the full story!