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Enable Innovation Through Culture

Focus on culture rather than spend for greater innovation success.

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  • Patti Brooke, Director, Innovation, Premera Blue Cross
  • Michelle Cogan, Manager, People & Culture, Entuitive
  • Kevin Dunal, Principal, Launch Center Inc.
  • Shashi Jain, Strategic Innovation Manager, Intel Corporation
  • Blaine Jansen, Associate, Entuitive
  • Paulina Klimowicz, Lead Digital Talent Acquisition, Scotiabank
  • Navin Kunde, Department Manager, Open Innovation, The Clorox Company
  • Arif Mustafa, Director CIO Advisory, Enterprise Design, Digital Transformation & Innovation, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Rajesh Sankat, Policy Advisor & Digital Product Lead, The Ontario Cabinet Office
  • Juani Swart, Professor, Head of Group: Organization Studies & Director, University of Bath
  • Brian Zubert, Director, Waterloo Region, Thomson Reuters Labs

Your Challenge

  • Few HR departments enable their organization’s innovation efforts, resulting in a missed opportunity to be a strategic partner and accelerate results.
  • There are different types of innovation, and different cultural drivers are critical for each type of innovation. Understanding the type(s) of innovation an organization is using allows HR to determine where to focus their efforts.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Enabling innovation is a balancing act. Take the time to understand the type(s) your organization is using to focus HR’s resources where they will have the biggest impact.

Impact and Result

  • Engage stakeholders to understand the organization’s innovation goals and type(s), and gain buy-in for HR’s involvement.
  • Identify the drivers that need to be improved and maintained to enable the organization’s innovation type(s).
  • Plan to align HR programs to reinforce prioritized drivers.

Research & Tools

1. Clarify your organization’s innovation goals and type(s)

Engage stakeholders, clarify the organization’s innovation goals, and identify the innovation type(s) HR needs to enable.

2. Identify the innovation drivers HR needs to enable

Understand the drivers of a culture of innovation, assess the organization and HR’s alignment to the drivers, and prioritize drivers to improve and maintain.

3. Align HR programs to innovation drivers

Define behaviors for the prioritized innovation drivers, creating a high-level action plan to align HR programs to them and establish metrics to measure success.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Clarify your organization’s innovation goals and type(s)

Call #1 - Review innovation types, relevant information, and stakeholder consultation plan.
Call #2 - Identify innovation type(s) HR needs to enable.

Guided Implementation #2 - Identify the innovation drivers HR needs to enable.

Call #1 - Review innovation drivers and required stakeholder consultation plan.
Call #2 - Assess current state and prioritize innovation drivers HR needs to improve and maintain.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Clarify Your Organization’s Innovation Goals and Type(s)

The Purpose

  • Clarify the organization’s innovation goals.
  • Identify the innovation type(s).

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Organizational goals for innovation understood.
  • Innovation type(s) identified.




Identify why innovation is a priority.


Review the innovation inventory.

  • Innovation inventory appraised.

Assess specificity of innovation goals.

  • Innovation goals confirmed.

Assess organizational resources required.

  • Organizational resources assessed and confirmed.

Confirm the innovation type(s).

  • Innovation type(s) confirmed.

Module 2: Identify the Innovation Drivers HR Needs to Enable

The Purpose

  • Recognize the drivers of a culture of innovation.
  • Assess the organization and HR’s alignment to the drivers.
  • Prioritize drivers and define related behaviors.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Alignment to innovation drivers assessed.
  • Drivers prioritized and related behaviors defined.




Assess current state to identify the right innovation drivers.


Review assessment results.

  • Innovation drivers assessed

Prioritize innovation drivers for HR to improve and maintain.

  • Priority drivers identified for HR

Articulate behaviors for priority innovation drivers.

  • Behaviors for priority innovation drivers defined.

Module 3: Align HR Programs to Innovation Drivers

The Purpose

  • Create a high-level action plan to align HR programs to prioritized drivers.
  • Establish metrics to measure success.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Alignment action plan developed.
  • Success measures set.




Assess HR program effectiveness at enabling drivers (by HR function).

  • HR program effectiveness evaluated.

Brainstorm tactics to enable prioritized drivers (by HR function).

  • Tactics to enable prioritized drivers suggested.

Create a high-level action plan for each HR function.

  • HR function action plans to enable innovation drivers.

Set metrics to track progress.

  • Success metrics.