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Your three key players in the race for innovation

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Startup companies will naturally have a keen eye for innovation as they work out their route to the top. But larger, long-established companies can keep pace with the new kids on the block by maximising the talent at their disposal, says C. J. Prince, writing for Chief Executive.

You probably have some excellent talent on your teams. But how do you motivate it to come up with cutting edge ideas and deliver results?

According to Michael Arena, chief talent officer at General Motors, it’s vital for leaders to tap into the strengths of their employees and get the right people talking to each other.

These are the three essential players he believes you need to link up:

1) Wild thinkers. These seek out new ideas but will probably need help getting them noticed and put into practice.

2) Networkers. These have a lot of connections inside and outside the company, and know who to call on to get a job done.

3) Motivators. These spread the word and stimulate others’ passion for new projects.

“CEOs play less of a role in innovation than we think they should,” says Arena. “When it comes to innovation, leadership is overrated.”

So, if you seek innovation, make sure there are plenty of examples of the three key players on the payroll and give them enough space and encouragement to experiment.