What can HR can do to help their organisations innovate to break in to new markets?
Our speakers, Hayley Wojcik from Groupon, Carole Teacher from Mott MacDonald engineering , Callum Petrie from Phillips Electronics have all had a great deal of experience in encouraging fresh thinking and you can take away some ideas to start the process.
Philippa asks CIPD’s John McGurk to explain why innovation is critical for companies intent on surviving the move to a global economy.
At Mott McDonald, a worldwide engineering company, Carole outlines the blue-sky thinking to solve a problem which was greatly inconveniencing people living in the enormous city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to say nothing of the financial and ecological consequences it caused.
Philippa asks John how new thinking can be introduced organisation-wide. John says it’s down to the two Cs. Listen to him explain the practicalities of what this means. Success is serial failure it is said. Again, John tells us why it is valuable to fail.
Callum Petrie’s company, Phillips, invented things we now take for granted, but he agrees wholeheartedly with John about the inevitability of failures and how and why they are celebrated. The answer, for Phillips, is brightly coloured. Listen to why. Later Callum tells Philippa about the ‘town meetings’ they hold and they way they address their employees. It works for them, could it work in your organisation?
Groupon’s growth has been staggering. Hayley explains why the culture appealed to the more entrepreneurial employees but how they also needed those of a steadier nature to balance their exuberance. Philippa says she can imagine how the company might have looked in its early days, with employees buzzing with ideas and projects, but wonders how Groupon has sustained this buzzy culture in a disparate group of people. Hayley explains how this is done in such a large company.
“Necessity is the mother of invention”, says Carole Teacher. She thinks that despite the recession that Philippa mentions as a possible block to innovation, it has concentrated minds at Mott McDonald. John gives an example of how this has worked in the public sector too, listen to him describe a project at Dumfries and Galloway NHS Trust.
Useful additional information
CIPD’s Shaping the Future research looks at organisation design and innovation. You can see case studies from BIG Lottery Fund (strategy innovation); Pfizer Grange Castle (process innovation); and the NHS Dumfries and Galloway project John mentions - capturing employee innovation.
Next month we take a look at the Government’s plans for executive pay.