Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Management innovation


   As organisation capability has become a more important basis for competitive advantage, innovation in management processes (as opposed to business processes, or products and services) has also become more critical.

Gary Hamel's 'Future of Management' describes the opportunities for management innovation very effectively, and this blog seeks to apply some of the same principles to the management of people.

So I was interested to read the CIPD's report on 'Innovation in the Workplace' (incidentally, for all the flak taken by the CIPD, they continue to do a lot more interesting research than SHRM).

Key findings of the report include the fact that only 25% of respondents' organisations give a high priority to management innovation compared to about 55% that prioritise innovation in business processes and 65% who prioritise innovation in products and services.

This is unfortunate given that "pioneers in management innovation attract and retain top employees, and they build a capability for change and adaptation.  These are important attributes in today's highly competitive world."  (Interestingly, this does seem to contrast with the CIPD's own approach to HCM which emphasises measurement and pays little attention to innovation.)

One reason for the lower priority seems to be that "management innovation is extremely hard to do.  Partly because "most organisations lack either the tools or systems to help them become better management innovators".

-   If this is the case for you, I'd recommend the value triangle, which I find, supported by some creative thinking tools (eg visualisation, metaphor etc), provides a very suitable basis for innovating management practices.

And secondly, most survey respondents developed "their innovative practices through the creative insights of their own colleagues, or by learning from other organisations" rather than with the support of external parties.  This may also limit their innovative capabilities given that "management innovations typically come about at the confluence between 'internal change agents' or 'intrapreneurs' and 'external change agents' such as consultants".

-   I do a very good one day workshop using the value triangle if you're interested...



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