Posted on 28 Mar 2017

Today’s business environment is complex, dynamic and unpredictable. ‘Innovate and adapt’ is the new corporate mantra, and rightly so. Organizations that fail to do so, don’t survive. The democratization of innovation – making innovation everyone’s job – is the goal and strategies to achieve this increasingly focus on people practices.

We put a lens on organizational innovation to explore how companies are executing on this priority through human capital. Our initial investigation highlighted three key drivers for organizational innovation that HR is well-positioned to influence: (1) culture, (2) workforce agility and (3) technology.


Fostering a culture of innovation is a key strategy to drive corporate innovation, particularly when the goal is to democratize innovative behaviours and practices. Levers include leadership, diversity and inclusion, performance management, and learning.

Workforce Agility

Static and hierarchical organizational structures inhibit capability and speed to innovate. On the flipside, increased workforce agility enables organizations to flex in response to change and deploy rapid innovation. Levers include organizational design and talent mobility.


Technology both delivers and enables organizational innovation; it facilitates collaboration, instant information and speed, and has the potential to reshape the employee experience. Levers include established consumer technologies and emerging technologies.


These were the three areas of focus in our research. We found that there is enormous potential for HR to foster organizational innovation and hardwire innovative behaviours. This can be achieved by bringing forth core HR capabilities.

There is enormous potential for HR to foster organizational innovation and hardwire innovative behaviours.

This eBook brings together the results of our research to provide a market perspective on the current state of organizational innovation and HR’s contribution to this. It is based on survey data from 322 business and HR professionals, interviews with 33 HR executives, and commentary and research from industry thought leaders.


The eBook includes a framework to focus your HR strategy and practical steps to ramp up organizational innovation.