The world is changing, and as the business environment becomes more competitive, consumers are counting on companies to deliver new and innovative products to meet their changing needs and higher expectations. Jennifer McClure, President of Unbridled Talent LLC, believes that HR has a significant role in anticipating these potential changes and that rather than trying to manage the change, it should be seen as an opportunity to think differently and innovate.
“To be a key driver of innovation, HR must be innovative” –Karl Moore
The HR team directly impacts innovation within a company, as they are the ones who embody the culture through the process of hiring, creating policies, and planning for continuous improvement- Therefore they must embrace it. When HR focuses too much on measuring their department against best practices, they miss the opportunity to drive and support an innovative workforce by thinking differently and taking risks.
Considering the influence that HR has in an organization, they are in the ideal position to establish a culture which appreciates innovation. An article from MIT Sloan suggests that there are six building blocks to creating an innovative culture, each one influencing the next. These building blocks include: values, behaviors, climate, resources, processes and success. This model creates an innovative culture by promoting creativity, cultivating engagement and enthusiasm, and encouraging risks to foster learning.
Once a culture of innovation has been established it is important to sustain it. This can be done by hiring individuals who share these values and “think outside of the box.” When hiring, it’s important to look beyond skills and to consider hiring for potential, an enthusiasm for learning, the willingness to consider multiple viewpoints, and a true cultural fit. To further sustain innovation, HR should implement continuous learning through training, managing performance, and recognizing and rewarding employees to keep them motivated and engaged. These practices will encourage ongoing innovative ideas to help your company be successful in the future.