2020: Your most innovative year yet?

By Carole Burman, MAD-HR
If Her Majesty The Queen thought 1992 was an ‘Annus Horribilis’, what on earth will be her defining description of 2020?
Published in Norfolk and Suffolk Director Magazines Autumn/Winter 2020
2020: Your most innovative year yet? 1

In this unprecedented situation, where and how do we find the chink of light? The answer begins and ends with the concept of persistent and relentless innovation.

Seeking to innovate

While businesses have found themselves facing incredibly difficult circumstances as a result of the pandemic, it’s been those who have sought to innovate, and been successful at doing so, who have started to emerge onto a new and more hopeful path.

For some, innovation prompts thoughts of ‘tech’ and of ‘digital strategy’ in the modern work environment. And although important, so too is how we ‘innovate’ with our people resource. How are we using the skills and aptitudes of our human capital? Can working smarter and differently with our staff, create huge positive change for our business?

By recognising the potential in one another and seeing an ability to refine how we use our talent pool, we can potentially create vast new capabilities within our organisation.

For instance, a business might:

  • decide to change its working time patterns and home-working policy, engendering a huge culture of feeling trusted and supported.
  • innovate through the reduction in meetings, documentation, or multiple line reports; all leading to a greater capacity to manage time.
  • change the structures and size of its teams, focusing on a hub of skills within smaller work groups, and giving a significant shift in contribution and attainment.

Of course, whether we choose to innovate a little or a lot, and whether we do so physically, functionally, or behaviourally, it’s communicating that movement and gently and collaboratively bringing our team members along with us, which matters most. There will always be the occasional naysayers about innovation, but for the most part, we can be confident that staff want to move forward and see a healthy sustainable business for the longer term.

With this approach, it ensures that everyone feels part of the new chapter you’re creating.

For any business leader considering how to innovate successfully and wanting to do so in a way which allows staff to feel considered within the new approach,

MAD-HR has a five-point prompt

1. Communicate the concept: It’s critical to let all stakeholders know about changes to your culture or working style. Innovative or not, people want to know the reasons why.

2. Manage expectations: Allow people to understand that these are challenging times and that innovation comes with its own complexities and that patience may be required.

3. Encourage insight: Feedback will be invaluable. Don’t believe it’s only the management who should have a view on how best to innovate.

4. Open-ended evaluation: Innovation doesn’t need to have an ‘end point’. Keep reflecting on what’s working and what isn’t.

5. Celebrate success: Always applaud the work that’s being put in by everyone to achieve your innovation transition. Gratitude goes a long way.

We partner with clients, working alongside them to develop a plan that will achieve their goals and move their business forward. So, if you feel we can help you then please get in touch.

2020: Your most innovative year yet? 5

Carole Burman is the Founder and Managing Director of MAD-HR. For more information contact: T: 01473 360160 / 01603 791256E: hello@mad-hr.co.uk or visit mad-hr.co.ukTwitter:@wearemadhr

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