Due to today’s VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) companies have to innovate or they simply won’t survive. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise, that a job position first identified in 1988 – Chief Innovation Officer, has grown 500 % in the last 10 years. For instance, some research shows that 43 % of large companies have a top innovation executive employed. Also, the number is growing. So what does a CINO do and which skills do you need to become one?

Who is CINO

A Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) or Chief Technology Innovation Officer (CTIO) is a person in a company who is primarily responsible for managing the process of innovation and change management in an organization. CINO sometimes originates new ideas but also recognizes innovative ones.

Skills that you need as CINO

1.) Ability to balance existing and new technology.

As a CINO, you have to manage existing IT operations, that have to continue to provide value to the business. At the same time, you have to capitalize on the latest technology. Unlock the new tools while making sure that you don’t forget about the current needs of your customers.

2.) Be open to change and persistent enough to drive change.

You are not only changing technology that the company is using, but you might also transform operations, business models and change customer experience. Your innovation principles are changing the company in its core. Since most of people don’t like change at all, being persistent while making a change is truly important – don’t give up!


3.) Ability to communicate the future.

It’s crucial for a CINO to have a good predictive sense based on their experience in the market. Furthermore, to be able to see where a market might be going. Identify future product needs and contemplate how those needs will be filled.

4.) Ability to make things happen.

As a CINO, you have to have the power to drive ideas and actions around the set vision to make it a reality. If you are not action-oriented person or highly proactive, CINO role might not be the best fit. You will have to make up your own schedule and push for things to change all the time. As a result, sometimes you might feel quite alone in fighting certain battles.

5.) Build connections & network.

You need to prioritize building connections. Both within your organization and between it and other organizations. First between individuals. Second between departments. But above all, between ideas. A CINO should be willing to set aside ego and not worry about who gets credit for innovation. He or she should rather foster openness and transparency to drive collaborative change.

The success or failure of an innovation is rarely about the idea. Its all about the timing. – Phil McKinney

But … we don’t have an official CINO role in our company.

It is not crucial that you have a person with an exact CINO title in your company. You can start by having someone that can dedicate a certain amount of time to focus on innovation. For example 40 % of your job engagement. We’ve also had CEOs of smaller companies attend our CINO program, that find innovation vital for their work.

Autumn CINO certification program by CorpoHub.

The modules in our CINO program that will help you gain knowledge and skills you need as a CINO:

  • Everything about the role of CINO
  • Agile work methods (scrum, Management 3.0)
  • Boosting creativity and team collaboration
  • Ideation and pitching
  • Design thinking
  • Customer development & lean mindset
  • Innovation portfolio management
  • Attendance of  Lean Innovation Summit 2020

CINO dates: 12.11., 18.11., 22.11., 27.11., 3.12., 10.12., 17.12.2019 and 21.1.2020
Location: Ljubljana, Tehnološki park

Check more about CINO certification program and apply – limited number of participants!