Innovation in compliance is one of my passions for every Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) and compliance practitioner. So much so that I dedicate an entire podcast series to the topic, aptly named Innovation in Compliance. I was therefore intrigued with a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, entitled What Kind of Chief Innovation Officer Does Your Company Need?, by Darko Lovric and Greig Schneider. They developed six-character types for innovators, which I have adapted for the different skills set a CCO might need to create innovation in compliance.

  1. Research skills – research skills allow folks to come up with new ideas and garner insights from large amounts of data.
  2. Engineering Skills – Engineering skills are used to build something that works, as in now.
  3. Investor skills- investors see innovation as the means to an end, and that end is growth.
  4. Advocacy skills – Advocacy skills help to deliver something new for the end user.
  5. Motivational skills- motivational skills in innovation but the authors found they work to unleash the employees’ imaginations.
  6. Organizational skills– Organizational skills are the true process focused skill set, focusing on extents like key performance indicators (KPIs), metrics, and stage gates.

While you may not find one person with all of those skills, by identifying them a CCO might be able to bring a range of skills to an innovation project. Further, by tempering some of the more extreme aspects of each skill set by partnering it with a countervailing skill set, a CCO can bring a much more robust response to innovating. Also remember that innovation in compliance does not necessarily require a high cost of entry. You can innovate by looking to process improvement and moving outwards.

Three key takeaways:

  1. Do you have an innovation expert in your compliance team?
  2. What skills do compliance professionals have that lend themselves to innovation.
  3. Think about broadening out your compliance reach through innovation.

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