William J. Holstein interviews Dartmouth professor Vijay Govindarajan for the New York Times. Here’s an excerpt:
Q. So would you say the chief executive has an important role in making breakthrough innovation possible?
A. A tremendously important role. I consider the C.E.O.’s role in the modern corporation to be building the capacity to continuously innovate in a breakthrough way (emphasis mine). The C.E.O. doesn’t create the strategy, but should be listening to the voices of people who are able to see the future. It is the role of the C.E.O. to spot and encourage them. Then, once an idea has promise, you must help build a separate organization around that person.