Working in consumer health care, Eric First fully understands the importance of innovation across many platforms, and brings a fine mix of scientific and technical knowledge to the table. As the Vice President of Global Innovation and New Product Development, Eric oversees products that highlight needs among consumers while maintaining a high level of expertise that helps drive goal-oriented achievements. We sat down with Eric to discuss team management and how to cultivate a team of innovators.
3 Questions with Eric First
1. How do you motivate your team to come up with good ideas?
Challenge them to come up with the unexpected or the new. I'm constantly looking for something that will “wow” me. So by pushing them with those demands, I can usually get what I want.
2. How do you create a culture of innovation?
Well, we've done it in a number of different ways. A couple of them are group situations and the use of electronic tools that engage the company globally. That's the stuff that helps instill a culture and invites people to share thoughts and ideas, but it also doesn't waste more so than a minute of their time. In the group setting, things need to be engaging and something worthwhile for their time. You drive a culture by engaging many people in various activities and initiatives.
3. Are there specific areas of your culture of innovation that you would like to enhance to make your team more innovative?
Long-term innovation, high risk/high reward situations and getting over that fear of failure.