Derek Bishop


Innovating the future of HR

Date added: 20th Aug 2015
Category: Innovation Culture

HR can be, and should be, at the forefront of innovation culture change

HR is dead; long live the computerised, automated, reporting system. If you believe that, then you have a view of HR which has no place in today’s business world. Admittedly, once upon a time HR may have been seen as little more than a hire’em, fire’em and pay them in between times department; but those organisations which promoted the idea of humans as a valuable resource for the business could always see the added value which HR brought to the mix.

Unfortunately, in some circles the old-fashioned view of HR still prevails; but they are rapidly diminishing circles as businesses which do not understand the worth of people swirl down the plug hole of history. Nowadays, with people being front and centre of the drive for business growth, HR departments have a more central role than ever in guiding the development of the organisation.

Being honest, that computerised, automated reporting system which we maligned in the opening sentence of this article is also the catalyst for transforming the HR function. Smart use of technology can nowadays take care of day-to-day functions such as salaries, overtime and holidays and this leaves HR to do what they do best, managing people development.

And people development has never been more important than in today’s marketplace. Innovation culture is now very much the name of the game and that requires a collaborative mindset allied to agile development and genuine customer intelligence. People can no longer get away with simply understanding their immediate task, they need to have a more holistic view of the organisation. People can no longer work in a ‘heads down at the desk’ mode, they have to be prepared to interact and collaborate. This requires communication, listening and understanding skills as well as a move towards a more agile and interactive form of learning.

A true culture of innovation infuses the entire organisation, from CEO to newest joiner and from processes and procedures to behaviours and attitudes. Pay, rewards, metrics and expectations will all have to be rewritten to accommodate this new methodology. HR can be, and should be, at the forefront of this change; working with the leadership team to transform the values, beliefs and behaviours of the organisation to accommodate an innovation mindset. Is HR dead? Absolutely not; in fact, with innovation infusing the organisation, HR has just received a new lease of life.

If you’d like to find out more about cultures of innovation you may be interested in our new book Building a Culture of Innovation – A Practical Framework for Placing Innovation at the Core of Your Business. Co-written by Cris Beswick, Derek Bishop & Jo Geraghty and published by Kogan Page, 3rd December 2015; the book is available for pre-order from 3 September.


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