the BIG PICTURE on Innovation Management

January 26, 2021

To kick off the 2021 InnoQuest season, we asked internationally recognized scholar and InnoQuest go-to guy, Stephen Brand, if he would help the InnoQuest group get the BIG PICTURE on Innovation Management.  We feel that too often we get mired in the specifics of Innovation Management and forget that we’re on a journey.

The group discussed:

Where did your best idea over the last year come from and how does it connect to your innovation management strategy and approach?

What would it take to elevate and lead innovation better in your organization?

Stephen helped curate a sort of “State of the Art” in Innovation Management, examining how an organization even begins to strategize and execute an innovation management system.  What are the grand components of a high-performance innovation game?  How can we do well at this game if we don’t really understand how to win?

It takes a champion and someone directly responsible to lead / mentor the innovation process:

  • Innovation is a business function, like Finance or Operations.  
  • The importance of the innovation being driven by both business and technology/engineering. 
  • There is both art and science (business and process) in innovation; you must have both components.
  • The top-down individuals are those who are creating structure, or the organizational business model, in which the ideas can be facilitated as innovation.
  • Reach out for data – from users, customers … and from outside people who can advise.

About the presenter: Stephen Brand, President/Chief Imagination Officer, Enterprise Factory, Stephen is an advanced scholar of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. He has a degree from Ohio State (BA ‘78, Multimedia Design & Production) and a couple graduate degrees from Harvard and Weatherhead School of Management as well as academic appointments (Babson, UMass, etc.), published articles, board appointments and practical experience running the Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron. 

About the InnoQuest Innovation Management Program:

A collaborative forum offered bi-monthly to leaders and innovation practitioners of mid- to large-sized companies in Northeast Ohio. Participants gain best practices in managing and guiding the innovation process, new working relations with peer companies & leading practitioners and actionable steps to improve a company’s innovation practices. Program content has included: Augmented Reality; Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), Lean Start-Up Principles, Design Thinking and Creativity in Leadership. Each session focuses on three things: 1) Delivering great content from leading practitioners; 2) Fostering connections between participating companies and practitioners; and 3) Providing actionable steps for accelerating innovation initiatives. When possible, sessions are held at locations of interest throughout the region. Past locations have included Sherwin Williams, NASA Glenn Research Center, Avery Dennison’s New Innovation Center, the Cleveland Institute of Art, Vitamix and Eaton.

To participate in the InnoQuest Innovation Management program contact:
Chris Keller (; 216-346-6300) or Grant Marquit (; 216-215-5058)