Corporate Innovation Not A Department by Khairul Anwar

Corporate innovation is an important feature in large organizations. I wouldn’t suggest it to be a corporate function or division or department as it will create another layer or compartment, becoming bureaucratic and adding extra cost to the company.

I think corporate innovation should be an embedded strategic program cut across divisions.

Who should lead? I’ve seen HR doing it, IT doing it and CEO office doing it. The easy way out is CEO office, but I’ve seen CEO's have 25 direct reports, how could they add another? My best bet: corporate innovation should be a mandate that should come from the Board as a strategic program (with start and end period - max 3 years) and review every 3-6 months. Each year is a different “focus” leading towards the objectives and outcomes.

Why Board?

Because the Board changes a lot less than top management. Besides, the Board has greater cohesion between them that can drive management teams and its workforce.

Now, the problem with the Board?

They lack customers voice and are seemingly out of touch with the business realities on the ground. The Board can use corporate innovation to get this mended instantly. Greater customers voices should be heard directly at the Board level and wider attention should be paid.

Let’s get on board. #corporateinnovation #business #relationships #innovation


Khairul Anwar puts a premium on innovation and execution simply because it’s the only measure of success. Currently, he is an active advocate of design thinking and leadership development. DT LEADERSHIP SDN. BHD. interest is in people development, leadership behavioural change and innovation skills development.