In the innovation process we need a whole range of different roles. An innovation manager is more likely to take care of the entire process, monitor and control it. For individual challenges, it is worth naming a person who specifically takes care of their content. This role of a Challenge Owner can relieve the Innovation Manager, especially if the latter cannot invest 100 percent of his time. In addition, this role offers the opportunity to ensure additional necessary content expertise.
As a “Subject Matter Expert”, the Challenge Owner knows everything about the topic of the particular Challenge. He supports it from start to finish within the innovation process.
In some cases, the Challenge Owner also acts as a sponsor of a particular Challenge, as it concerns a problem in his area of responsibility. Thus, this person has a great interest in ensuring that innovative and useful concepts emerge in the end. He is primarily responsible for content aspects and therefore works closely with the innovation manager.
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- Subject matter expert: The Challenge Owner is an expert for everything concerning the Challenge itself. This enables him to answer all questions on this topic and to steer the results in the right direction.
- Motivation & Time: The Challenge Owner is responsible for a Challenge, but is also interested in its solution, as it brings him advantages in the best case. Therefore, he should be motivated and also have time resources available to participate in workshops etc. and to support the idea providers.
- Define Challenge: As an expert, he should support the innovation manager in defining the challenge. It should have sufficient depth but also be formulated in a comprehensible and appealing way.
- Idea generation: The Challenge Owner is involved in the idea generation process by supporting the idea providers with his expertise in terms of content. He should also be involved in the phase of concept development and prototyping and support them with his knowledge and contacts.
- Motivation: Since the Challenge Owner works closely with the idea providers, he should have communication skills and motivate them to solve the Challenge.