May 27, 2015 in Events (live blogging), European HRD Business Summit 2015

Innovate or Die: A Strategic HR Imperative

Dr. Luis Vives – Director of the Multinational MBA (MMBA) and Associate Professor of Strategy and General Management, Esade Business School. @ProfVives

The session opened with a video about the scale and pace of change (not one of the Socialnomics videos, I don’t think, but something similar).

We looked at a list of companies which are either dead or almost dead: RIM (Blackberry), Pan-Am, Kodak, Dell, Blockbuster, Sony and Luis talked about the urgent needs for organisations to be responsive to change, or to go one stage further and be the organisation that is driving the change.

The audience then answered three questions: Is innovation important in your industry (typically 98%)? Are you an innovator (typically 50%)? If your company doing enough to sustain and promote innovation and creativity (typically 2-5%)? Unsurprisingly, almost everyone said yes to the first question but then loads of hands went down for the second and third questions. Luis then did a bit of live audience coaching, digging a bit deeper into why people gave the answers they gave (and digging into the excuses we give!). So, the answer to whether your HR department is doing enough to innovate is probably no!

If we want to be innovative, Luis suggested that organisations need to be organised in a totally different way and that HR needs to be at the centre of this.

Luis translated a McKinsey study on lack of employee engagement into imaging that it applied to a football team. If it did, then:
– Only 4 players out of 11 would know which goal to score in
– Only 2/11 would care
– Only 2/11 would know which position to play in
– At some point, 9/11 would play for the other side

“Companies much shift from a power and control mentality to one of commitment and participation” – Isabel Aguilera (former CEO Google & GE)

The whole environment is changing, and we also now have four generations in the workplace. What motivates talent?
– Go with the winner
– Big risk, big reward
– Save the world (purpose)
– Lifestyle

One piece of advice? We are the people that need to make this change! We need to create the context:
– Innovation, not perfection
– Share all that you can
– Follow your dreams, use your talent
– Brilliant ideas come from anywhere
– Creativity thrives under tough conditions
– Focus on content and users and the money will come later


(This was live-blogged during a session at the European HR Directors Business Summit 2015 in Barcelona – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of the highlights for me but my own bias, views – and the odd typo – might well creep in.)

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