Ainhoa Alzola
October 10, 2018

8 Challenges Facing Innovation Managers

In a global market where the most disruptive innovations are generally introduced by newcomers, and old-timer players struggle to stay on track, innovation management has fast become key to identifying new business opportunities in every industry. In order to succeed and grow, enterprises are actively seeking product, organizational and process innovations that can positively implement. Nowadays, if a firm is not able to update its offer and how that offer is manufactured, then it is almost certain that it won’t last long under such competitive conditions.  Here are 8 challenges that innovation managers face at different stages of the innovation lifecycle:


Capturing and implementing innovation is unpredictable. There is always a high risk involved when it comes to renewing products, services or procedures; especially when they are still profitable. Innovation managers should be able to tolerate that risk and deal with uncertainty. The fear of making mistakes can affect your creativity and decision-making capacity. The greatest risk is not taking any risk at all.


An innovation manager needs to be informed about the latest developments to establish the right strategy. With SCOUT you will be able to access to the newest trends, advances and players. Thus, you will gain a quick ‘DNA analysis’ of your industry, based on their digital footprint.


According to a survey conducted by the  Hay Group in 2015, 37% of employees think they aren’t encouraged to take risks and try new ideas and 47% feel their ideas aren’t put into practice. Companies should encourage a pro-innovation culture that values learning and failure, allows team members to express themselves, provides enough autonomy and builds a standardized pattern to approach the innovation process.


Innovation management shouldn’t be relegated to one department. Indeed, it’s necessary to have good communication channels in order to obtain different perspectives and identify flaws in different areas within the company (marketing, product development, design, and manufacturing).

You can use SCOUT to determine relevant project-specific sources and topics and team members can also set up their search within targeted data sources like patents, journals or specific research areas.


Networking is one of the pillars of innovation. In general, the most disruptive technologies result from the collaboration between internal and external actors in different sectors. In addition, when an innovation succeeds in breaking through, industry and researchers gain extremely valuable knowledge.

Finding new partners, contacting experts and detecting funding opportunities will improve your innovation process. Using SCOUT, you can build a large collaboration network as it provides you with the most relevant profiles of companies, researches, managers, universities, etc. working in your field of research.


A recent study has shown that “while 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences,” only 8% of customers agree”. Customer understanding is essential to acknowledge your shifts in demand and determine priorities towards new developments in the company.


Like any other task in a company, innovation also needs a path. Even though managing innovation isn’t about having an inflexible plan, it does require a strategy that guides the entire process, not only for coming up with new ideas, but also for implementing them.


Advanced innovations can’t be realised overnight. It takes a long time to search, capture and implement meaningful changes and, even though innovations manager should accelerate the innovation development process, they also need to polish and improve every possible change in the company.

To find out more about technologies or current state on related topics, visit us at and take a look at what’s going on across emerging technologies. Our search engine Scout brings the latest news on technology trends and state of the art in several fields of innovation. Staying on top of the market!


Shavinina, L. V. (2003). The international handbook on innovation. Oxford: Elsevier.


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