Eight habits of a digital innovator

October 5, 2013

What differentiates ‘innovators’ from the rest? Bridget Gray, Harvey Nash, shares her experience of interviewing hundreds of people who have made a difference – digitally.

Download Eight Habits of  Digital Innovator to read the full report. 

This article first appeared in CIO Magazine – www.cio.co.uk

Innovation, it seems, is a rather difficult term to pin down. Few CIOs or IT Leaders would admit to not being innovative, and yet ask them to define exactly what it means (and as headhunters that’s exactly what we do!) and you will get a wide variety of responses.

When attempting to pin down the definition of innovation you find yourself chasing a moving target.

Ten years ago innovating wasn’t much different to experimenting and often sat on the fringes of an IT department; perhaps as an hour-a-week project of enthusiasts.

We certainly didn’t see much formal need for innovation in the job requirements we gathered from clients when recruiting CIOs and digital leaders.

However, as the years progressed, innovation has come to mean a whole lot more to companies and their IT departments. Web 2.0, mobile, the cloud have all presented genuinely new ways to do business both internally and with external customers, not to mention opening out new markets and revenue streams.

In fact in the latest Harvey Nash and PA Consulting Group CIO Survey published May 2011, three-quarters of CIOs believe their company will lose market share if they fail to innovate.

Three-quarters is a figure worth dwelling on; there has never been a time when innovation has been more important, and for most companies it is the CIO or IT Leader that CEOs turn to.