Feb 22, 2011

Innovation and HR

InnovationImage via Wikipedia

A senior HR professional mailed me, saying that he's going to be part of a panel discussion on Innovation and what are the areas I think HR can impact innovation. Here's what I wrote back to him:

1. If the culture of an organization is not geared to innovation, then a “skunkworks” approach to innovation is best. That is, a place and structure and group of people separated from the parent company – to form a separate group without the systems and processes of the parent group to reduce innovation.

2. On a personal level, innovation is the way to see reality from a different point of view – hence HR needs to stress on systems and processes that drive diversity in thought and execution.

3. Performance management needs to be tweaked so that risks are rewarded and inaction is penalized. The more risks are taken, the better the chances of innovation. That would also mean that managers need to change the way they view failures.

4. Move focus away from saying No to saying Yes. When an employee approaches a manager with a new idea or innovation in doing the work, the manager should be able to say yes easily, and when he/she says no, he/she should write a business case on why the idea won’t work. This process would incentivize saying Yes instead of No

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