People and Leaders in Industry 4.0 Part IV Innovation is a modern word used nearly everywhere, especially in terms of company policies. However, I sometimes feel that the authors of the policies cannot connect it to particular phenomena. They have a blurred idea of what innovation means in their business and how leaders should set the environment for innovation to make a difference. They do not understand what kind of people it takes to implement such innovation. Innovation is not currently perceived as a matter of corporations or societies investing huge sums in new, cutting-edge projects. Nowadays, innovation is an indivisible feature of each business regardless of the size of the company. Results of each innovation depend on the people who implement it.
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new idea as in escaping from old ones. John Maynard Keynes
I often hear the stray idea that innovation demands a thoroughly creative team with nearly unlimited support who will chain-produce fresh ideas. Companies successful in implementing innovation, however, prove it to be the systematic work of those innovators who focus on their target and see the needs of their customer or client. Such a team typically achieves innovation at a lower cost in a shorter time. Radmila Liďáková, HR Manager in IPH Servis Morava, s.r.o., has worked in both large and small companies, so I asked her about her views on innovation in action when working with people. What people are necessary in a company that aims for innovations? A company who wants to innovate needs absolutely standard employees, those who must be motivated for innovation. They need motivation to think at work and do something more, which is easier said than done on
site. Still, step by step, day by day I motivate employees towards positive thinking as well as towards the will to change, improve, innovate, and enjoy their interesting work. What is the difference between innovation in large and small businesses as seen by employees? The difference is in the approach. A large company is almost anonymous; an ordinary employee may find it difficult to communicate with the management and solve problems, search for new opportunities, and implement improvements. Things are easier in a small company: everybody knows the boss, a welder or a mechanic included. There are no obstructions and there is no hesitation; there is room for solutions and implementation. Making that happen in a large company is possible but definitely more time consuming and challenging. What environment and culture should an HR manager establish in a company so as to support strategic innovation projects? Obviously, you cannot order people to make the environment relaxed and friendly, or to make their thinking innovative. A year and a half ago our company moved into a brand new premises. We can innovate whatever and wherever we turn: dated machinery and equipment in large halls, processes which serve our clients as well as product innovation help us grow and develop. We dedicate most of our energy to working with people within our company: we create the environment which supports creative thinking, assist and inspire growth through professional and expert training and show good professional practice in other companies.
Text a foto: Radka Šušková New Dimension, s.r.o. www. newdimension.cz
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