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You are lucky if you’re the HR practitioner whose advice is followed without challenge and who is consulted oracle-like before any action is taken toward change. More often, change is already underway by the time HR is first involved: thought processes gone through; decisions have been made; perhaps even action taken.
Entering the change process at this stage, HR must be able to assess how sound the reasoning is, how much the readiness has been examined, how robust the plans for solutions are and how much attention is being paid to the effect on the people. Any weaknesses or gaps found in the assessment put HR in the position of needing to slow things down and get their clients to re-examine earlier decisions, assumptions or actions. It is impossible to do this without strong influencing skills.
Influence is underpinned by credibility and made easier through relationship and HR practitioners must devote energy to establishing their credibility and building their relationships widely so that when the time comes to need to influence, the ground will be fertile. The art of influence is knowing when to push and when to pull; when to ask and when to tell; when to pace the client and when to lead. It is knowing how to insist without dogmatism; how to compromise without folding; and how to withdraw leaving the way open for future progress.
Without influence, the HR practitioner is confined to executing the will of the leaders and cannot add true value to the direction and management of change.
This article (found on their website) is written by Jan Hills who is the partner at Orion Partners and responsible for the HR strategy and HR capability service lines. Jan co-wrote the Gower book Developing HR Talent which is part of the Gower HR Transformation Series.
“Innovation is not a process, but an outcome.”
The Forbes Leadership Forum brings renowned speakers and thought leaders who discuss their leadership strategies. As a speaker at the Forum, Gower Author Alexander Manu was interviewed by Shaku Selvakumar for the IBM Impact 2011 Blog. In this interview Manu discusses in-depth the concepts of Imagination and Innovation in business Extract:
The redefinition of innovation as a human behaviour outcome, a dynamic in constant change, requires the shaping of new responses in business and the economy.
The past understanding of what innovation “is”, was generally connected with a breakthrough in technology – some new tool being employed in some new way. This understanding limits the potential of innovation as bound by the tools employed, instead of the imagination employing them. The latent imagination triggered by an innovation outcome is the true goal of innovation. It is not what “I can do with this now”? but “what can I become doing this in the future”? The tool is not a response, but a question. Every innovation is a question. The truly important innovations are a series of questions.
A few definitions: Innovation is an outcome, a new behaviour, a new way of doing things. Disruption is a behavior – an outcome involving a media and a user – changed by invention. Invention is a moment of discovery or creation of something new. Disruptive Business means the sum of new behaviours and their support models. Innovation is a moment of use, a manifest behaviour that engages an innovation object into new uses, and modifies the habitual conditions of the present.
This position challenges the current understanding of innovation, and some of the labels applied to innovation typologies, such as the label “disruptive innovation”. In general, the current discourse around innovation addresses competently the technology side of an invention, at the expense of the motivational side of the user, the human motivation which leads in the behaviour of use.
Alexander Manu is Chief Imaginator and Senior Partner at InnoSpa. He is the author of Distruptive Business: Desire, Innovation and the Re-design of Business published by Gower.
Martin Austin’s YouTube interview on EUX.TV on the future of industrial biotechnology offers some interesting insights into the opportunities and the constraints the industry faces going forward. On the one hand, the future looks bright, as biotech offers potential solutions to a number of critical economic and social challenges; the development of biomass and addressing the need to feed a ballooning world population; the development of new materials to replace the plastics and oil derivatives on which we have come to depend. But, one of the great challenges is that this industry is largely invisible to consumers; we don’t recognise the products for which it is responsible and don’t understand the benefits the industry offers. Martin Austin is Managing Director of TransformRX and author of Business Development for the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry.