“Adapt or Die” It may be a popular expression but, in a world of constant change, innovation is essential to survival. And that applies just as much to your organisation as it does in nature. It is not just busuness - even the public sector is no longer exempt.
So how do you ensure innovation?
“Innovation happens when passionate and interested people are encouraged to share ideas with a shared vision and ambition to create the very best.”
Absolutely! Of course this may not be the only occasion when innovation can occur – the old adage that “Necessity is the mother of invention,” springs immediately to mind – but from an organisational perspective I don’t think you could deny this. Especially when you know that it comes from Vance Kearney, Oracle UK’s HR director and one of the country’s leading HR luminaries! (Source: Jon Ingham blog 14 December 2011)
Even more encouraging is his follow-on statement, “Working together ambitiously and passionately is what drives innovation and HR can assist by making the case … at the senior management level.” This suggests that the profession is recognising the implications of taking a more strategic role in business. But is it ready to be held accountable for facilitating an environment of greater innovation?
Unfortunately, you need engaged employees to have passionate and interested people. And employee engagement surveys show low levels of employee engagement. Consequently, you need to recognise just how important employee engagement is if you want to inspire innovation. Especially in this current, unprecedented, gloomy economic climate.
Yet it is not HR’s responsibility to define corporate culture. It is senior management’s. And the irony is that you do not need an employee engagement survey to tell you how engaged your employees are. If you lack innovation, by definition, you don’t have employee engagement. So if innovation is the key to survival, you should rephrase the opening sentence to “Innovate or die!” But you need to recognise that your staring point is employee engagement. And that you need to take action now. Any delay could prove fatal.