Innovation as the key to the future of HR leadership

How to leverage your HR manager role to be a more effective leader?

The global challenges we are facing today may not be new. They are however of a magnitude and complexity we have never faced before. Today’s trends and challenges are bigger, more complex and more global than ever. And very quickly, these problems affect every nation, every industry and every organisation. 

Yesterday’s answers are clearly not solving today’s challenges and so we need new answers in fact, we need new questions. Asking new questions and searching for new answers is what we at AKKA Architects believe true innovation is. And it is that form of innovation that we desperately need to help our organisations survive or even better, strive.

Asking new questions and searching for new answers is what we at AKKA Architects believe true innovation is.

innovation hr leadership

Whichever these global challenges are, they cannot be solved by one entity or one challenge at a time. The knowledge needed to address these global challenges, our global challenges, cannot originate from a single discipline. We need to shift from fragmented attempts at solutions to a holistic and comprehensive approach to creating new solutions. We need comprehensive innovation. 

Innovation is not an answer nor a solution, it is a verb, a process. Comprehensive innovation means a systematic approach to a process of innovation, i.e. a process of collaboratively searching for new questions and new answersSo, what does this mean for you as an HR leader?

Innovation is not a luxury. Innovation is a necessity.

As an HR professional, you can feel the repercussions of these global challenges in the world of work in the form of five main trends: 

1.  Mobility: the access to people and information anytime, anywhere and on any device.
2.  Changing demographics & Millennials: the struggle to adapt to all different generations in the workplace.
3.  Technology: Big data, wearables, the internet of things, Artificial intelligence, robotics and automation are just some of the technologies organisations are trying to figure out, adapt to or embrace and anticipate.
4.  New behaviours: due to social technologies, the social behaviours of virtually every profile of people have changed and continue to change.
5.  Globalisation: the blurring of boundaries and barriers has consequences on doing any type of business anywhere.

innovation hr leadership
innovation hr leadership
innovation hr leadership

There are three practices that you, as an HR Manager, can apply in your role right now in order to stimulate comprehensive innovation and use this to your maximum advantage to be a more effective leader. 

Principle 1: From dictating to extracting. 

To ensure a solution answers your employees’ real needs, it is crucial to engage all different groups of people in your workplace and extract each group’s insights.

Principle 2: From compromising to conciliating.

Even in the case where organisations (its senior management or external expert consultants) develop a solution to a workplace challenge that answers employees’ needs, often employees do not agree with it. A typical reason to this is individual’s interest versus collective or future interest. Engaging people in a process allows them to see the relationship between individual needs and the collective/future interest, and will help the entire group conciliate rather than compromise. 

Principle 3: From point to process. 

Typically, changes and interventions in many organisations are offered -or dictated. They use the carrot/stick approach and they aim to impose/forbid or at best seduce people into the desired behaviour. In nudging behaviour, as in any change management project, we need to shift from an isolated project to a continuous process that can engage people on an ongoing basis. An ongoing process does not only engage people, it also takes them through a simultaneous education process. This educational process enables people to gain awareness and creates momentum, which results in employees being empowered to make more informed decisions.

Innovation is the key to the future of HR leadership.

These are the three practices that you can apply in your role of HR leader right now in order to stimulate comprehensive innovation. Remember, those practices can only be successful if approached with a mindset of servant leadership. And you as an HR servant leader can now lead your teams and your organisations through the ongoing process of innovation, by shifting from dictating to extracting, from compromising to conciliating and from point to process. Check out this related article: Strong employee experience in your workplace.

Do you want to know more details on how to adopt the mindset of servant leadership and how to engage your teams in an ongoing process of innovation? Download here the book The Power of Interactions and get the principles and practice to maximise your role as and HR manager.

Align and Engage your entire workforce to achieve massive growth in your Organisation.


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“We would like to express our gratitude for the time you invested in helping us get to a clear picture.  Anna and I really appreciated the call we had with you, your responsiveness, and the great empathy that you exhibited throughout – we certainly felt very “well taken care of” when engaging with you.  On the practical side, we especially appreciated that there was the option to obtain robust bottom-up cost estimates for the construction itself (not every design architect offers this).”

-Private Client of AKKA



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