How to make a career in corporate innovation
Publication date: 28.08.23
Reading time: 5 minutes
A career in corporate innovation can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to make a real difference in the world, to work on cutting-edge projects, and to be part of a team that is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Here are some examples of the different roles in corporate innovation:

Innovation Manager: This role is responsible for leading and managing the innovation function in the company. They are responsible for defining strategy, identifying new opportunities, and building and managing innovation teams.

Product Manager: this role is responsible for developing and launching new products or services. They work with cross-functional teams to gather requirements, define the product roadmap, and launch new products or services.

Innovation consultant: this role provides advice and guidance to companies on their innovation strategy. They help companies identify new opportunities, develop new products or services, and scale and commercialize new innovations.

The salary range for corporate innovators can vary depending on the role, company, and location. In general, however, corporate innovators can earn high salaries. The estimated total pay for an Innovation Manager is 3850$ per month, with an average salary of 1500$ per month. These numbers represent the median, which is based on salaries collected from Glassdoor Job Search. The estimated additional pay is 2350$ per month. Additional pay could include cash bonus, and profit sharing.

Corporate innovators have a range of tasks to perform, including identifying new opportunities for innovation, developing and testing new products or services, scaling and commercializing new innovations, and building and managing innovation teams. In addition to these tasks, they must be able to think strategically, communicate effectively, and work cross-functionally. They must be able to understand the business environment, identify new opportunities, and build successful teams.

What tasks does a corporate innovator perform?

Identifying new opportunities for innovation
Сorporate innovators may conduct market research, brainstorm new ideas, or find new technologies.

Developing and testing new products or services
It may involve working with development teams, conducting user research or experiments.

Scaling up and commercializing new innovations
Includes working with sales and marketing teams, building partnerships, launching new products or services.

Building and managing innovation teams
Corporate innovators must articulate an innovation strategy that stipulates how their firm’s innovation efforts will support the overall business strategy. This will help them make trade-off decisions so that they can choose the most appropriate practices and set overarching innovation priorities that align all functions. They must take prime responsibility for the processes, structures, talent, and behaviors that shape how an organization searches for innovation opportunities, synthesizes ideas into concepts and product designs.

Here are some tips on how to pursue a career in corporate innovation:

Understand the different roles in corporate innovation.
There are many different roles in corporate innovation, from product managers to innovation consultants to venture capitalists. It's important to understand the different roles and what they entail so you can find the one that's right for you.

Develop your innovation skills.
There are a number of skills that are necessary for a career in corporate innovation, such as problem solving, creativity, and communication skills. You can develop these skills by taking courses, reading books, and participating in seminars.
Innovation Courses on Coursera
○ The Innovator's Method: Bringing the Lean Start-up into Your Organization by Nathan Furr
○ "The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators" by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen
23 Resources for Mobilizing Innovation in Your Organization
○ The Committed Innovator Podcast by McKinsey
○ Innotechic’s newletter

Get experience in innovation. The best way to learn about corporate innovation is through hands-on experience.
Indeed is a popular job board that lists corporate innovation internships and job openings. You can search for openings by keyword, location, and company.
Glassdoor is a website where employees can anonymously review their employers. You can search for corporate innovation internships and job openings on Glassdoor by keyword, location, and company.
○ Innolead is not only a magazine about innovation, but also an opportunity to find a job in corporate innovation in a special section.

Build your network.
The corporate innovation community is very dynamic, and it's important to build your network. This will help you learn about new opportunities, find mentors and break through.
○ Start by identifying your target audience. Who are the people you want to connect with in the corporate innovation space? Once you know who you're targeting, you can start to reach out to them.
○ Use social media to your advantage. For starters, you can subscribe to the Twitter and Linkedin pages of the people who were the top corporate innovators in 2023.
○ Attend industry events: Innov8rs Conference, Corporate Innovation Summit, Innovation Roundtable, SXSW Innovation Festival.

It's difficult for a single professional to accomplish 100% of the points outlined. That's why it's worth paying attention to your peers.

To summarize! A career in corporate innovation involves being immersed in processes, understanding trends and the marketplace, and applying soft skills. The Innotechnics team will help you stay abreast of the latest trends in innovation and look for the right solutions for your company. Subscribe to the Innotechnics newsletter and add Innotechnics founders Sergey and Arseniy as friends on Linkedin.
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