No matter what field a company is in, when you look at their website they all claim to be innovative. It’d be truly amazing if all these companies were innovative, but what actually is innovation? And what happens when companies innovate? Isn’t it all about people? If yes, how come recruiting processes still seem to be from the Middle Ages?
Why is it that a company with a chic innovation department and fancy innovation managers is not necessarily innovative? It’s simple: the other departments don’t feel included. Consequently, they do not identify with the innovative ideas of the chic innovation department.
In order to secure long-term innovation, a culture has to be established that supports it, in every department. Why this culture is so essential, is clarified when you understand the results of innovation. The innovation process traditionally follows four specific phases.
- Recognition: Identification of a problem. Where there is a problem, there is the potential for optimization.
- Brainstorming: Solutions to the problem are developed and proposals for improving the process flow are collected. The innovation starts rolling.
- Implementation: Chosen proposals are implemented. Ideas become action.
- Stabilize: The newly implemented processes or the newly introduced software must fulfill expectations and become part of the existing procedures and processes. If this fails, re-enter phase 1. Also figure out why the previous solution didn’t work as expected.
What does it take to make a business innovative?
None of these steps can stand-alone or be left out and only an innovation culture can provide the basic framework for this process. So, how can you create such a culture? How can you transform a company into an innovative one? Here are the most important tips for developing an innovative corporate culture:
- Set targets. To identify what is missing, you need to know where you’re going. You need goals and a vision. These should be in line with those of your employees. They should then be committed to these visions and continually strive to achieve them.
- Create a participatory and secure environment that supports innovation. In order for me to be the most productive and involved I have to feel included and safe. This requires a climate of trust and mutual respect for each other. People must be able to express their ideas, suggestions, feedback and criticism freely, without being ridiculed or ostracized.
- Have quality standards. An environment that sets clear performance standards and whose employees work diligently towards these goals is essential.
Search for innovative employees – why it does not work without them
Looking at this process and the culture of innovation, it is obvious: innovations do not happen by themselves, they are supported. They are discovered, planned, designed, constructed, improved – all by employees. So why then is it that when we talk about innovation we talk about the products and not the people behind these products?
Steps in the right direction have already been taken: By communicating that it takes creative and innovative employees in order to create innovative culture. We need the unconventional thinkers that make “out of the box” employees.
CHRO’s say: We want to recruit more innovative employees!
IBM asked over 700 Chief Human Resource Officers about their workforces and published their findings in the CHRO Survey. Promoting creativity and innovation is the major issue and challenge that will continue throughout the coming years. The majority of CHRO’s stated that they want to recruit more innovative employees.
At the same time, 71% do NOT use targeted selection tools to pick especially innovative candidates for their companies – although there is no shortage of innovative methods in the HR field. Video interviewing would be such a method, for instance.
Wanted: More innovation in HR, more openness in recruitment!
With the increasing pursuit for innovation, where it is taken seriously, the need for innovative employees is becoming more urgent. However, they will not be found if everything continues to operate as it has before. Innovation must be found throughout the company. A change is needed, there needs to be a shift toward greater openness in recruitment and more innovation in HR!