Richard Bendis, president and CEO of Innovation America tells IM about his personal approach to innovation management and how he is helping others to embrace innovation in the interest of encouraging our future leaders.

What is innovation management to you?

I approach innovation management as a practitioner who has had the opportunity to observe and implement innovation strategies and practices in many diversified settings and industries, both in the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds. Several years ago I started to discuss the difference between technology management and innovation management, as most people were inaccurately interchanging the terms. As we all know and accept today, innovation management is much broader and could include new systems, processes, services, methods for interaction or communication in addition to development and introduction of new technologies. Effective innovation management can have an impact on  everyone…..anywhere in the world.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

The ability to re invent or re innovate my self around activities and opportunities I enjoy. I like having the opportunity to observe global innovation trends and adapt what I do on a daily basis to meet changing market needs, that will also provide my organization with a rewarding and stimulating work environment. It is also fulfilling to expand my global personal network and interact with people from different cultures and regions of the world on a daily basis. The most satisfying part though is watching a client implement a new innovation plan and implementation strategy that improves their organization or institution.

And the most frustrating parts?

The most frustrating part of my job is not being able to find an adequate supply of qualified innovation management LEADERS in the world. There are a lot of academics, consultants, industry or public service managers who profess to know innovation , but few actually have been successful practitioners in leading innovation management.

The best thing the innovation management profession should strive to accomplish is to identify and train the innovation LEADERS today, that will stimulate the future growth of our diversified economies, organizations and institutions.

What’s your next big challenge?

My personal challenge is making sure that that my 3 children and 7 grandchildren embrace innovation and incorporate it into their daily lives. Maybe one or more of them will emerge as a future innovation LEADER that we are all looking for.

About Richard Bendis

Mr. Bendis is a distinguished and successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, investment banker, innovation and technology based economic development leader, international speaker and consultant in Innovation and Economy Building. Mr. Bendis currently serves as the founding President and CEO of Innovation America (IA), a Global Innovation Intermediary focused on accelerating the growth of the entrepreneurial innovation economy in America. They send a daily newsletter highlighting selected innovation related articles from around the world at