The five topics that I have covered provide a strong foundation for zeroing in on the actual innovative mechanisms at work within a large corporation.
Your last task when it comes to the interview process is making sure that everyone with which you speak is singing the same tune. You are looking for consistency. If you interview a representative from human resources, they may paint a glowing picture when answering your questions about corporate innovation. Make sure that the other people you meet with confirm the views of HR.
Evaluate whether or not your potential new co-workers sing the same song. What does your potential manager have to say about innovation? How about your potential co-workers? If you interview with the VP or lead of the business unit (and you should), are they giving you the same information as everybody else? Is innovation part of the DNA of your new group?
It is useful to carry the five lines of questioning with you on a small note card that support your line of questioning. For your convenience I’ve listed them below:
- Ivory towers. Make sure opportunities for innovation are distributed across all employees.
- Corporate backbone. Innovative corporations should have a central technology portal for internal and external collaboration.
- Technical community. The technical leaders within a corporation must be easily identified, approachable, and collaborative.
- Corporate contests. The corporation must sponsor contests and/or portals that are a clearinghouse for gathering and collaborating on new ideas.
- Customer innovation. The corporation must have a well-defined interaction process when it comes to allowing customer input to drive innovation directions.
Good luck with your search!
Here’s wishing you an innovative 2010!
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