Can HR Drive Innovation?

Can HR Drive Innovation?

I was having lunch with a well known local HR executive discussing Tournovate BIG, a new way to infuse agile and disruptive cultures into large organizations.

She stopped me (mid-pitch, mind you) to tell me about her previous position in which her CEO came to her and told her that she needed to come up with an innovation strategy and program for the 6500+ company.

She said that what she needed then, and felt that HR leaders need now, was an “innovation kit” to help her get the lay of the land. And, we (GTA team) are working on it….

Here’s what you need to know about innovation, in the increasingly likely event that you are faced with a similar conversation with your CEO.

Innovation is not about new products.

Some of the biggest innovators in their time came up with new ways of doing things. Examples: Fedex, Toyota and Netflix.  

Investing in innovation doesn’t mean hiring an expensive consulting firm to figure it out.

Companies whose leaders know how to foster collaborative, problem solving cultures have what it takes to innovate. 

Employees whose ideas are welcomed are engaged and committed. 

You can’t get that kind of intimate organizational knowledge anywhere else. When it comes to innovation, culture is key.

It’s about thinking differently, testing out new ideas, and executing. 

The longer your company has been in business, the more inertia, risk aversion and status quo thinking constrains the ability to move forward. 

HR leaders are in a unique position to drive innovation as they are key in forming culture and employee engagement. 

The challenge is how to balance the traditional roles of compliance and risk mitigation with an experimental, creative mindset.

There’s tons more to know, but this will get you started. 

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