HR City

HR Killing Innovation: Why...?

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, February 16, 2012
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Bangalore: Innovation recognizes the value of small experiments, even though the HR's are aware of this fact but often declines these experiments. Well there many good reasons and bad reasons which needs to be disentangled before we can comment on how to improve innovation in HR. One of the simple bad reasons could be that the HR wants to protect its turf in case if it is a HR related effort which they want to control and any associated budget. But the good reason is that the organization may don't want their managers running off doing things which are risky. Process like this can be seen in the IT companies.
Managers who have experienced a lot of enrage in the IT and probably when they try to bring a MAC into the organization to standardize on PCs. There are again good and bad reasons for the inflexibility in IT which they need to prevent that would undermine the security of their system and also they need to protect themselves from the user demands that can arise when someone has an incompatible hardware setup. Sometimes it may be difficult for the sake of being difficult. But whereas the right steps should be relatively clear. If see at a good IT department, it monitors the issues, assess the risks, check for the reasonable steps to be measured minimize the risk which makes sense and then allow the users to continue further with non standard system.
The fact which has to be agreed is that there is lack of risk management/ risk mitigation mindset. The HR professional who grew up in quasi-legal world where in their job is all ensuring the organization does not fall foul of labor laws. This has often led them to get used to saying " No you can't do that!" instead of working as a partner to determine the best thing to do. HR is the ones who have championed enterprise-wide programs and if there is an on-boarding then it will be for everyone but not just for a critical subset of jobs. Reasons for an HR may be like whenever HR sees an innovation they immediately think it in the terms of an enterprise-wide roll out, which is expensive, risky and time consuming -all in all, better be put to death than permitted.
There is a need for greater responsiveness to a rapidly changing external environment, and a big need for great innovation, not just in products but across the organization for many organizations. The HR need to encourage their managers to experiment and to provide limited overview so that there will be no undue risks.
When experiments work, HR can consider applying the approach to other areas of the organization and when they don't work the HR can guide the way towards. But we don't get to learn from failed experiments or build on successful experiments if we kill experiments before they can begin, there is no hope left for improvement and growth.

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