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After some months of discomfort in my current role, I have accepted a new position with my current employer: as part of a corporate IT department, I will be responsible for “innovation”. Now, the job description doesn’t exist yet, so I have a chance to define what that might represent for my employer – which in itself is a challenge.

Before I go any further – yes, the cynic in me DOES recognise the potential that this is a “departure lounge” (you know – the last place you spend time while you’re waiting to leave). But without this change, I was probably leaving anyway; and there are a number of other indicators that it is a genuine role.  If it turns out badly, I’ll blog that too and you can say “I told you so”!

One thing has been made quite clear  this is about finding value for the company, not following the latest IT fashion or getting the latest toys – that would make me an analyst, right James? We have a good idea what projects are lined up for the next year or two – this is more about finding what lies a little further out, and making a business case for “edge” application of technology – the addenda to our ERP etc that differentiate us from every other user of the package as well as our competitors. While there are some reasonably obvious candidate projects (we already have a start on some, as well as business demand, so it’s not a completely blank page), there is no business out-of-bounds, so I suspect there will be a lot of environment scanning involved, selection of candidate projects to pilot, the pilot implementations themselves, and the go/no go decision at the end of them.

This is where you folks can help – does anyone out there have experience/knowledge of this sort of role in a corporate environment (even if it was a “departure lounge”) that they would be willing to share? And what ideas does anyone have for a job description?

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