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Seeing Innovation | VUHRD ANR 2017 | March 21, 2017

January 9, 2017

Every business must innovate to compete.  Most of us recognize that in order to sustain success and find an edge over competition we must foster innovation in our organizations -- but saying it and doing it are two different things. 

 

Ask yourself a quick question: If you wanted to create a culture of innovation in your organization, which department would you ask to lead the charge?  My guess is that not everyone would answer human resources. However, I believe that because HR is the department responsible for attracting, hiring, and retaining the talent in the organization, as well as the training and development of that talent, they should initiate the effort. If you are serious about creating a culture of innovation, it has to start with the people you bring into your organization and the policies that affect how those people work – HR is directly responsible for this. HR should be leading the innovation charge!

 

If you are serious about creating a culture of innovation, it has to start with the people you bring into your organization and the policies that affect how those people work – HR is directly responsible for this. HR should be leading the innovation charge!

This is exactly why innovation is the theme for the 2017 VUHRD Annual Networking Reception.  Each year #VUHRD brings our students, faculty, alumni and HR community members together for a night of networking and learning.  I am excited to announce this year’s ANR will take place on Tuesday, March 21st from 6-8pm.  Our theme for the evening is “SEEING INNOVATION: Creating a Culture of Innovation in Your Organization.”  We will explore ways that HR can foster innovation throughout the organization. (We also love that you can't spell innovation without NOVA!)

 

In our #VUHRDOneBook this year, Originals, Adam Grant has taught us that being an original is not a special skill that only a few people posses; companies like Warby Parker know this to be true.  In his post “The Secret to innovation at Warby Parker,” Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Warby Parker, discusses some of the ways Warby Parker encourages innovation from all employees: asking for ideas, creating spaces that encourage collaboration, and encouraging curiosity, to name a few.  As Neil says, “It’s tempting to think of innovation as a rare skill belonging to a specific class of people –the visionaries, the creatives, the rule-breakers.  But actually, it’s a muscle that we’re all naturally equipped with.  We just need to get in the habit of using it.”

 

#VUHRD couldn’t agree more, Neil!  At this year’s ANR, we hope to engage our HR community in a conversation about how they can create a culture of innovation in their organization.  We believe that it is not enough to say innovation is needed; we have to actively seek ways to make innovation possible.  We have to look for ways to foster innovation.  We have to SEE INNOVATION in our people, in our processes, and in our policies. 

 

When choosing the theme for this year’s event, a colleague reminded me that the phrase “SEEING INNOVATION” implies that innovation already exists.  If we believe Neil’s statement, “it’s a muscle that we’re all naturally equipped with,” innovation probably already does exist in your organization.  But, as he says, “We just need to get in the habit of using it.” It is easy to see why Warby Parker has been included in the 50 Most Innovative Companies list by Fast Company for several years and even topped the list in 2015

“It’s tempting to think of innovation as a rare skill belonging to a specific class of people...but actually, it’s a muscle that we’re all naturally equipped with.  We just need to get in the habit of using it.”  --Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Warby Parker

We are excited for this year’s event!  Stay tuned for details on our speakers and registration later this month.  Check out the event page here!  If you have any questions regarding the event or sponsorships, email us at gradhrdoffice@villanova.edu.  We will SEE you at the 2017 VUHRD ANR – SEEING INNOVATION!

 

 

_________________

Bethany J. Adams, MA is an Assistant Director in the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University. Learn more about her here!

 

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