Organizational permeability as a source of innovation

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There’s a lot of talk about the need to innovate in HR. The change required in Human Resources must enable in companies new ways of doing things to be implemented.

Usually, open innovation models are referred to when making allusions to the company’s relationships with the exterior. An organization open to market or consumers’ concerns can revolve around the search for a better alternative in terms of competitiveness . This means that we have to understand the benefit that this permeability to the exterior represents, enabling innovation resulting from relationships to be incorporated.

However, many companies see innovation from an endogenous model, making the acquisition of innovation somewhat expensive and slow, reducing its competitive potential. This is where their error lies, seeking to maintain the organizational structures of the past by limiting relationships to bureaucratic paperwork and rejecting the option to leverage openness as a channel for allowing new ideas or ways of doing things to seep in.

Open and participative innovation is required, but it means organizations must understand the benefit of involving third parties with new ideas in their processes and the need to stimulate collective intelligence, promoting the figure of the intrapreneur who alone can favor the creation of value.

This change towards permeable organizations that opt for forms of open innovation represents a challenge for HR. Its function will be to position themselves as facilitators who need to manage the organizational horizontal alignment, encourage change management towards new models, favor continuous learning, and permit autonomy in people’s work.

ICTs will play an important role in accelerating innovation through collective construction. This will require companies to optimize their communication channels with the external agents who participate in their processes. In this sense, Enterprise Social Networks as a facilitator of communication and team coordination are a major competitive advantage.

Rafael García (@rafagparrado) works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.