HR has a poor reputation for innovation. After all, risk might be exciting for technology experts or rising managers, but human resources devotes most of its energy to avoiding disruption.
Does that mean that HR can’t innovate? Not at all.
In fact, innovation is essential to HR. People are the heart of an organization, and for any transformative change to be effective it has to start from the centre and work its way out.
Here’s how Karl Moore put it in a Forbes article:
“[E]veryone is influenced by HR…Who is in a better position to campaign for and express the culture and needs of your organization at all touch points (hiring, policies and programs, new employee on-boarding, succession planning, performance management, etc.) than HR?”
Innovation is important for success, but caution also has its place. HR has its own style of cautious innovation distinct from other managerial strategies, which makes use of, and amplifies, what is already working best in an organization.
Here are some very simple ways to extend the innovations already in place:
Get Clearer Insight: Find ways to manage organizational culture by identifying outliers in the organization who are currently out there innovating and taking risks. HR can learn from them.
Use the Technologies at Hand: Look at the technology already available. Is HR making the most of it? Can technology, electronic communications or social tools be used in new ways?
Use the Data at Hand: Is the data collected by HR being fully utilized? HR can think outside the box to analyze and leverage it in innovative ways.
Realign Processes: Processes are a critical way to make work scalable in any organization. But could they be better, make more references to data, or be more efficiently created?
Face Changes directly: What is the next big thing in the field? Learn what the pioneers in HR are doing. You may not be ready to implement everything tomorrow, but you’ll be able to see it coming and prepare for it.
What do you think stands in the way of public sector HR innovation? What is HR doing right? Tell us in the comments!