The facilitator, characteristics and importance for innovation teams

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Mikael Johnsson


This research develops the understanding of the innovation facilitator’s (facilitator) role for inexperienced innovation teams in an industrial context. Qualitative data was collected from X-functional Innovation teams’ members and their sponsor to identify requirements of a facilitator. Forty characteristics were identified and charted in an innovation process. Significant findings, contributing to prior research, are that the facilitator’s presence and involvement in the innovation teams was crucial in the pre- and first phase of the innovation process due to the very high complexity, where personal characteristics as well as e.g. facilitating-, teaching-, coaching-, group dynamic- skills were central. The importance of the pre-phase was unexpected, resulting in an extended innovation process: The Extended Innovation Process (EIP), for which the traditional innovation process was extended with a preparation-phase before the initial ideation-phase. This knowledge is applicable when e.g. creating and educating new innovation teams within an organization. Future research is suggested.

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