Five ways HR can innovate - Canadian Government Executive
Public Sector
March 18, 2013

Five ways HR can innovate

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!

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Public Sector
 
When James Cattell, a delivery manager at the UK’s Department for...
 
Welcome to the fall edition of CGE. Since our last issue,...
 
The Northern Federal Council (NFC) is a collaborative network of over...
 
Usually, the summer period is a relatively slow time for public...
 
As a new professional working in government, I hear a lot...
 
Most people go into public service because they want to improve...
 
Canadian Government Executive media (CGE) announced today that Lori Turnbull has...
 
Recently, CGE Editor-in-Chief George Ross sat down with Patrick Borbey, President...
 
The UK Department for Education (DfE) doesn’t have an easy mandate:...
 
We all ask why governments fail, often spectacularly, to carry out...
 
Innovation labs and units have become so fashionable in the public...
 
We would like to introduce a new section on Canadian Government...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones, publisher of Canadian Government Executive...
 
The January/February 2018 issue of Canadian Government Executive is on the...
 
You could hear the oxygen leave the room after I asked...
 
‘Elephant in the room’ is a metaphorical idiom for an obvious...
 
Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day – an annual initiative that...
 
Canadian Government Executive is honoured to have Michael Wernick, Clerk of...
 
It’s that time of year when some of us think reluctantly...
 
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote from management specialist Peter...
 
Professional development is tremendously important to members of Canada’s public sector....
 
Public servants are responsible for providing advice and support to the...
 
The International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index project, a collaboration between...
 
Today, the challenges facing governments are increasingly shifting away from traditional,...
 
Rankings of public sector entities has been big trend for quite...
 
Have you ever met a virtual human being? By common definition,...
 
In today’s workplace, individuals increasingly face dynamic and difficult challenges that...
 
In a rather unusual, quiet manner this past summer, a new...
 
We are happy to share with you the September 2017 issue...
 
We are pleased to provide you with an opportunity to help...
 
Innovation is vital in every sector; public service is no exception....
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, George Ross, Editor-in-Chief of CGE...
 
For over 20 years, Canadian Government Executive (CGE) has been a...
 
In this episode, Editor-in-Chief of CGE, George Ross talks with Sir...
 
How does a mandate for innovation challenge evaluation? Increasingly, the public...
 
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) is Canada’s One Voice...
 
Currently, there are ten organizations at the federal level that function...
 
Risk is always present in any undertaking, no matter the size...
 
In 2015, the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)...
 
The critical challenge facing the public service is changing its culture....
 
What we do in life echoes in eternity (GLADIATOR (2000) An...
 
In this issue of Canadian Government Executive, our lead story is...
 
For all its subtleties and mysteries, the Westminster system of government...
 
Several factors are driving an increased interest in horizontal assurance in...
 
The bootleg fentanyl overdose crisis that is sweeping across Western provinces...
 
Terrorism operates with deadly regularity. In June 2016, a gunman who...
 
It’s a common notion that young workers born in the mid-1990s...
 
According to the latest Viewpoint report issued by the Montreal Economic Institute, Quebec’s...
 
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has released new research...
 
The association representing more than 42,000 physicians and medical students in...
 
Yesterday, arbitrator Michel G. Picher accepted Canada Post’s proposal during final...
 
Contrary to the stereotype of eagerness and politesse, the second Bold...
 
Between the streetcars, buses and subways that interconnect across the city...
 
After writing the book “Megatrends: The Impact of Infrastructure on Ontario’s...
 
Over the past forty years, ministers have grown remarkably more media-sensitive...
 
Though many of Canada’s immigrants have above-average education, they often find...
 
Governments around the world are seeking to tap technologies such as...
 
The fact that Shared Services Canada (SSC) has struggled mightily under...
 
The union representing Canadian postal workers has rejected a proposal from...
 
The possibility of mail delivery disruption on Friday this week loomed...
 
The Senate committee looking into Canada’s Syrian refugee program wants the...
 
Computer software company Adobe, has migrated more than 11 million pages...
 
As a consultant, I work primarily with private sector organizations including...
 
The recent retirement of seven federal deputy ministers (DMs) reminds us...
 
On June 7, over 40 senior executives from within the public...
 
All’s fair in love and war JOHN LILY (1578): EUPHUES: THE...
 
Whether it is convincing companies to build R&D centres, factories, or...
 
The fact that Shared Services Canada (SSC) has struggled mightily under...
 
As much a 20 per cent of grade seven students in...
 
The actions and decisions of public servants have consequences for the...
 
Public sector design thinking has evolved from obscurity to something of...
 
The procurement group within the Government of Canada is undergoing a...
 
People caught a glimpse of the work of partisan advisers in...
 
Veterans Affairs Canada is not adequately managing the drug component of...
 
The Trudeau government is now six months into its mandate and...
 
Some public servants will have to request their departments for emergency...
 
It almost goes without saying that good governance requires fair and...
 
One of the most important powers at the disposal of Canadian...
 
Two years ago, Bixi, a not-for-profit, para-municipal bicycle-share firm of the...
 
Following the various mandate letters from the Trudeau Administration, the Minister...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) yesterday heard from several...
 
Years and years ago when I was unemployed, being able to...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today begins a public...
 
In dealing with the impact on the sharing economy on transportation,...
 
Professors are obliged to set regular weekly office hours, something most...
 
Things just get curiouser and curiouser. Lewis Carroll (1865): ’s Adventures...
 
As Toronto’s city staff prepares top release proposed regulations for taxis...
 
The Prime Minister is now well into the consolidation phase of...
 
It is no secret that evaluation reports in the federal public...
 
  The pressure is always on to make government services to...
 
The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Lab is...
 
Eight years ago, the always prolific University of Chicago Law School...
 
Canadians expect their public services to be delivered in a way...
 
The Liberal government is expected to announce on Tuesday a new...
 
The Trudeau Liberal platform of instituting “delivery” capabilities has garnered considerable...
 
Shared Services Canada appears to be in trouble again – this...
 
Growing public expectations on the speed at which they can received...
 
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health is poised to hold a news...
 
A while back there have been numerous media reports about the...
 
Monday was the final day for Canadians to donate money to...
 
Prime Minister Trudeau is off on one of the most intense...
 
A number of studies of Canadian federal and provincial government policy...
 
That the new Liberal Government has embraced ‘open government’ is hardly...
 
Meet Bob Heart.  He is an outstanding employee who works hard...
 
There is no shortage of examples of businesses that effectively used...
 
This year is the “International Year of Evaluation”, an area that...
 
By Craig Killough In March of this year, the Prime Minister’s Advisory...
 
Written By Jason McNaught The Public Service Alliance of Canada was...
 
Written by Jason McNaught Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page doesn’t...
 
Public servants deliver the government’s agenda and serve Canadians in policy,...
 
As with any other industry, technology plays a vital role within...
 
In 1990, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada published The...
 
Our jobs can define us, and this can be dangerous. I...
 
The Veterans Ombudsman’s office is accepting nominations for the Veterans Ombudsman’s...
 
“I wasn’t really nervous until he hooked up the wires,” said...
 
CGE columnist David Zussman, Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management in...
 
The public service is a funny beast. We have so many...
 
The health of our public service executive cadre should matter not...
 
The government of Saskatchewan gave the Premier’s Award for Excellence in...
 
Since the Clerk’s Blueprint 2020 launch in June, departments have been working full...
 
What’s the purpose of jargon? Jargon that is incomprehensible to the...
 
The official travel card suppliers for federal employees of the government...
 
Anxiety, fatigue, and exhaustion in a leader can burnout the team....
 
Passing on shared knowledge and letting new leaders emerge are ways...
 
When the public face of an organization or a well-known leader...
 
HR has a poor reputation for innovation. After all, risk might...
 
What do you do if you’re a leader in a large...
 
School bullying has been an issue in the news, and it’s...
 
The simple basics of brainstorming are forgotten far too often, and...
 
Motivation can be linked to the following job characteristics: skill variety,...
 
Taken every three years, this is the latest feedback on what...
 
What matters most to managers?High productivity? Efficiency and organization? How about...
 
It remains perennially important to distinguish between what makes a great...
 
A public relations mishap can be turned into positive attention, as...
 
James Kendrick’s January article The Right Leadership got me thinking about...
 
With innovation, the question is not just how, but who? Who...
 
In October, the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service...
 
Last spring, the Mental Health Commission of Canada launched the country’s...
 
The best of the Editor’s Choice articles...
 
In the Nineteenth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the...
 
Air travel can be stressful and harmful. While the destination may...
 
They told us that technology would usher in the ‘era of...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.3 March 2007 I am writing this from my...
 
Whether it’s travel, improving your golf swing or finally tackling the...
 
Quote of the week “Unless a public sector executive knows a...
 
Is retirement on your horizon? Do you plan to finish with...
 
Mental health matters. No one knows this better than Sylvie Giasson....
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
When James Cattell, a delivery manager at the UK’s Department for...