What is the real contribution that HR should be giving into an organisation? In my opinion there is one concrete answer to this: enhance Creativity and Innovation. These two elements are not just “side” effects of HR policies, or limited to the contribution of some learning specialist. In my opinion these two key elements are the real added value that HR can bring into an organisation. Too often people in HR think their contribution should be to the culture of the organisation, to the motivation of employees, to the productivity of people, to the efficiency of the organisation. All these elements are of course valuable ones, and are probably some very important results of a good HR action. But are they really the Purpose of HR?
In many companies there is an idea that Innovation simply “happens”. Or, maybe, that should be delegated to the R&D department, where people are paid to actually innovate. Nothing more wrong than this. Innovation needs to be continually nurtured and fostered across all levels of the organisation. Because very often the difference between success and failure lies in the capability of a company to be innovative in areas that competitors have failed to identify. In order to be innovative, you need to make sure that your organisational culture allows for Creativity to flourish, other vital element. However, if we all know that creativity is a key success element for organisations, way too often it looks like our internal policies are designed to avoid creativity to happen.
And here is key point: how can HR influence both Creativity and Innovation? There are many ways in which People Management can really develop these key attributes. Here some examples:
There are many definition of how creativity can be developed, and how a “creative process” works. I’m personally of the idea that in reality most of creativity simply “happens” into a “black-box” mode into individual’s minds. Of course, you can have brainstorming sessions, working groups, creativity sessions etc. etc. But in reality, at the basis of each good idea there are some inputs, and some ideas coming out of the brain of one or more people. Two ingredients are key into this life-cycle though: Curiosity and Connections. The first element is an attribute of every child. Unluckily, over time, curiosity gets killed in too many people. School, education, family, working environments, all elements that contribute to kill curiosity by providing “ready to wear” answers and rules for all situations. The second is about the fact that Creativity happens always by “connecting the dots“, putting elements in connection one to each other, and gaining feedback and inputs from other people. Did it ever happen to you to get an idea while you were having a coffee in front of the vending machine at work? Maybe after listening to some conversations of colleagues? HR can play a key role in the development of both this elements. First of all by looking for curiosity into people when they are recruited. Second by giving options for connectivity to all people in the organisation as much as possible.
Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
This quote summarize very well my thinking about linkage between Creativity, Innovation and Talent. Way too often the routines applied to identify so-called talents, are not really capable to point to people really able to see things out of the box and make a difference. Let’s think just about three cases: Albert Einstein, Ludwig van Beethoven, Steve Jobs. What do these people have in common? Well they are recognized geniuses in they domain, and they all left a footstep in history. But they also have something else in common. They would have probably never made it through a recruiting process, not even thinking about being identified as “Talents”. Einstein failed miserably in Maths at school. Beethoven had a difficult personality, and hearing disorders. Jobs was a free-spirit dedicated to several additions in his youth. These are just three examples, along many others. But should make you think. How many Jobs, Einsteins, Beethovens did you not recruit? How many do you have in your organisation, hidden behind organizational rules, below average performances, steeping motivations? If you don’t know the answer, and you thought so far that your Talent Management process was capable to really capture the “best” people in your organisation, well… please try to reconsider this. You will show to yourself and the company how HR can be really creative and innovative.
This is the fifth post in a series of six articles:
https://youtu.be/O8aDOR2Po50 In this tenth video of the series Leaders for Humanity, hosts Antoinette Weibel and… Read More
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https://youtu.be/r5GfGeiryPc In this seventh video of the series Leaders for Humanity, hosts Antoinette Weibel and… Read More
https://youtu.be/5-qE_WhZ2OE In this sixth video of the series Leaders for Humanity, hosts Antoinette Weibel and… Read More
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