The article presents the results of research on innovation competencies, defined as those conducive to the implementation of organizational innovations, along with different methods of developing these competencies. In the course of the research, seven structured interviews were conducted with managers in multinational companies operating on the Polish market. The aim of the study is articulated in the form of three research questions:
1. What competencies are crucial for fostering organizational innovation?
2. Which development methods are most frequently applied by businesses
in order to improve innovation competencies?
3. How could coaching tools contribute to fostering innovation competencies?
When confronted with the first question, respondents referred to the various components of competencies: knowledge, skills and attitudes. Many of them mentioned the following: cooperation; openness to the new and to change; involvement; proactivity. The following attitudes were identified by more than one person as crucial for the implementation of organizational innovation: responsibility (for one’s work), courage (to take up new tasks), openness (to change and to new solutions), outcome orientation, commitment and reativity.
In response to the second question, companies listed a variety of methods that they had applied to improve those competencies. The majority of the surveyed firms implemented numerous development measures on their own, i.e. staff meetings with senior managers use coaching tools to motivate employees to look for new olutions. Training and coaching sessions with external service providers have also been organized.
When answering the third question, the majority of respondents stressed the usefulness of coaching, both in improving innovation competencies and in developing or implementing innovative solutions. Many managers use coaching tools to encourage employees to seek innovative solutions. Another factor conductive to the use of coaching tools by managers is the organizational culture. The research is a pilot project and a starting point for quantitative research.