Magazine article Marketing

The Marketing Society Forum: Should Senior Managers at Brands 'Back Off' So Innovation Can Thrive?

Magazine article Marketing

The Marketing Society Forum: Should Senior Managers at Brands 'Back Off' So Innovation Can Thrive?

Article excerpt

A former P&G development head says 'over-managing' is 'killing the golden goose' of innovation.

NO - MATTHEW BARWELL, MARKETING AND INNOVATION MANAGER, DIAGEO WESTERN EUROPE

On the contrary, it is imperative that senior management creates a culture where innovation and creativity can flourish.

The tone and the propensity for risk needs to be set at the top of an organisation, and senior leaders have a key role in establishing this They must provide clear strategic direction, sponsor key initiatives and free up resources.

Project teams can then be free to experiment, be dynamic and take risks, knowing they have support across the organisation.

When senior management shares ownership of innovation, there's freedom for challenges and disappointments to be talked about openly, and to shout about successes.

NO - STEPHEN MAHER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MBA

Brands should be close to creativity and fully embrace it. Ideas and innovation can drive us out of recession.

Senior managers at the most dynamic companies often make it their duty to foster an environment for creativity to flourish.

This does not mean that they micro-manage teams, but it needs to be clear from their leadership that they welcome lateral thinking, even if this approach doesn't lead to success every time.

From many innovations will come great advances, and as long as those generating the ideas know that this is acceptable company culture, nobody will need to back off. 'Backing', rather than 'back off', should be the mantra. …

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