April 01, 2019
April 01, 2019
Contributor: Jackie Wiles
To drive digital transformation efforts, HR needs to look for ways to foster innovation, not just buy and build digital talent.
"Our growth opportunities will be fueled by technology improvements, innovation and advanced data analytics...[and] online remains a key engine of growth for the company. We have trained over 2,500 people in digital this past year across the company," says the online-division president of a global cosmetics company. This is digitalization in action — a top business priority that demands new talent strategies from human resources (HR) leaders.
But while HR is working hard to reskill employees for the digital age, and find and recruit talent, it’s critical to remember the ultimate goal is to better position the organization to pursue its digital ambitions successfully — and that also requires innovation.
“When it comes to how HR reinvents itself in the digital age, HR’s job is not simply to recruit, retain and develop digital talent but also to support their CEO's priorities,” says Brian Kropp, Group Vice President, Gartner. “CEOs want to know how to improve the innovative effectiveness of their organizations. And CEOs are right to want this outcome. When HR can improve the innovative effectiveness of the organization, annual revenue can increase by as much as $8,800 per employee.”
Business has long championed the need to “be innovative,” but in the digital age, innovation is critical to competitive positioning (and perhaps survival), must be faster and more disruptive than ever, and must occur at scale. The Gartner 2018 Strategy in the Digital Era Survey of nearly 7,000 business leaders, confirms there are two key ways organizations are innovating to remain competitive:
The success of such transformation efforts depends on the degree to which an organization is effective at identifying new opportunities, determining which opportunities to pursue, and adjusting business processes to act on those opportunities. This is what we call their “innovation effectiveness.”
Organizations with a high degree of innovation effectiveness outperform at two things:
Compared to organizations with low levels of innovation effectiveness, those with a high level are more likely to:
Building innovation effectiveness at scale takes deliberate effort — connecting employees with a network of innovators, engaging them in the choice of innovative ideas, and equipping leaders to share responsibility for the risks.
This article has been updated from the original, published on November 29, 2018, to reflect new events, conditions or research.
Join your peer CHROs and senior HR executives from leading organizations to discuss specific HR challenges and learn top HR trends and priorities.
Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Driving Network Innovation: Talent Strategies for the Digital Age
HR’s Role in Driving Digital Business Transformation
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.