John Epars, Head of Strategy & Innovation at Romande Energie, will be presenting at the HYPE Innovation Managers Forum, in May. We sat down with him to discuss his innovation program, and find out about his talk.
What are the main challenges you faced as an Innovation Manager when you started your innovation program at Romande Energie?
There are two crucial elements: Middle management engagement and credibility of the program.
Middle management involvement in the programis an absolute necessity for its sustainability. By supporting it, the managers ensure to provide the resources to implement the innovation projects. If they understand the benefit of innovation for themselves, they will encourage their direct reports to participate to the innovation program, and make them understand that it is legitimate to do so on working hours. For this to happen, it requires a strong change in the management process.