An innovation manager’s guide to success: take risk and evolve with uncertainty.

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In this post, Tomi Aregbesola discusses the mythical Phoenix and it’s close connection the role of The Phoenix in a working environment. Leading up to the Degree Show she shares her perspectives of the Phoenix role as an Innovation Manager.

The rise of the phoenix, sweat falls, time has its meaning, I evolve”- Common

In accordance with Webster Dictionary, phoenix pronounced ‘fi:niks’ ( stemming from the Greek vocabulary) is a unique bird that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert – this in reference with classical mythology of course. After time, it would go up to a funeral pyre and burn itself, rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle. The dictionary has also defined it as “a person or thing regarded as uniquely remarkable in some respect” – that hit the nail right on the head- the Phoenix is uniquely remarkable. In some retrospect, I guess that makes me unique and remarkable.

The ability of the phoenix to rise again from its ashes implies a notion of immortality. Adhering to basic knowledge of the term, as an immortal being, death does not exist, so it complies with eternal life- iteration. The Phoenix “rising from it ashes”, coming forth to unknown and uncertain familiarity – familiarity because it is resurrected through it’s ashes from the pyre where they burned- relates (in some extent) to a new leaders role in their preferred field.

As change is a never-ending continuum and inevitable, and innovation continues to evolve, the privation of creative minds to come forth is now deemed essential for business, corporations, organizations and or firms. With this being said, The Phoenix (mythical) is able to fly spreading its enormous wings, unaware of height and not afraid of landing in unknown places, wings wide open and ready to learn and adapt to its newfound environment, similar to how a brand markets their product and or service. As viewed in previous blog post, the super awesome MAIM class of 2015 fashioned 5 innovation management roles of the future and it is no surprise that my attempted personification of the mythical creature phoenix correlates to The Phoenix innovation management role.

The desire to explore and research the multifaceted ‘branding and marketing strategies’ of the Marketing and Retail team for a global organization assisted me in bringing my inner phoenix out. A sales personnel actions and results are one of the significant driving forces behind these new profound innovations, which require a reputable stance where their communication skills exceed the norm, hopefully contributing to the permanency of the brand. Unfortunately the communication hierarchy down to its retail level isn’t always decorously translated, leading to confusion and displeased employees (Rafiq & Ahmed 1993). Testing and implementing ‘internal marketing’, adhering the role of The Phoenix, affords risk and failure while the outcome may lead to positive outcomes.

Long story short, the research has developed a form of belief that innovation can only be managed if the organization structure, procedures and culture are conducive to promoting innovation. Creating and implementing some form of a tailored structure, which can help corporate employees address the various uncertainties that exist in the industry, will ultimately facilitate the process in which they assess information being circulated from their bottom level employees- this is were The Phoenix evolves.

To learn more about the Phoenix and Tomi’s research, stay tuned for the upcoming MAIM 2015 Degree Show, taking place at Central Saint Martins in the week starting on the 23rd of June.

*Editors, W. D. (1982) Webster’s Notebook Dictionary; with Synonyms and Antonyms. P.S.I. & Associates

*Rafiq, M. and Ahmed, P. K. (1993) ‘The scope of internal marketing: Defining the boundary between marketing and human resource management’, Journal of Marketing Management, 9(3), pp. 219–232. doi: 10.1080/0267257x.1993.9964234