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Skills Make Innovative Companies

Ottawa, May 28, 2013—Skills, attitudes and behaviours of individuals are central to an organization's ability to innovate, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Innovation Skills Profile 2.0 (ISP2.0), launched today. It identifies the skills needed to generate ideas, take calculated risks and be entrepreneurial, develop interpersonal relationships that support innovation, and implement ideas.

The ISP2.0 is designed to be used by employees, employers, educators, students, governments, labour and communities to become more innovative. 

"Skills consistently rank in the top three or four factors cited by business leaders as being necessary for successful innovation within their organizations. Skills are the enabling component of the innovation process and a lack of skills is a huge impediment to greater innovation in Canadian organizations," said Douglas Watt, Director, Industry and Business Strategy Research.

"Businesses that recognize the value and importance of skills will survive and flourish in today's global economy. This new skills profile is a framework for dialogue and action. Companies that succeed have a mix of individuals, teams, and leaders who collectively have all of the skills found in the ISP 2.0," he added. 

The online publication identifies four categories of skills, attitudes, and behaviours that contribute to an organization's capacity to innovate: 

  • Creativity, Problem-Solving, and Continuous Improvement Skills 
  • Risk Assessment and Risk-Taking Skills 
  • Relationship-Building and Communication Skills 
  • Implementation Skills. 

The Innovation Skills Profile 2.0 is a product of the Conference Board's Centre for Business Innovation (CBI), a five-year initiative to help bring about major improvements in firm-level business innovation in Canada. 

"Individuals and teams with the right mix of innovation skills, attitudes, and behaviours will be better prepared to add value to the tasks, projects and activities that underpin corporate innovation performance and better bottom-line results. The ISP2.0 helps businesses get there," said Dr. Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy at the Conference Board.

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