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www.envisioninglabs.com of1 5
Diversity &
Lessons	learned	from	employing	a	
diversified	workforce	to	foster	
innova7ve	pr...
Introduction
In	the	fall	of	2015	we	ran	a	research	pilot	with	a	non-profit	organiza7on	to	prove	a	hypothesis	that	has	
been...
Innovation & Diversity in the Enterprise
A	common	buzzword	thrown	around	in	presenta7on	decks	and	the	obligatory	inclusion...
Four Ways HR Can Stimulate Innovation
Now	more	than	ever	HR	teams	have	the	opportunity	to	approach	hiring	as	a	mul7-pronge...
www.envisioninglabs.com of5 5
Envisioning	Labs	is	a	Vancouver-based	innova7on	
consultancy	that	assists	organiza7ons	in	cr...
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Diversity & Innovation - Lessons learned from employing a diverse workforce to foster innovative projects

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Lessons learned from employing a diverse workforce to foster innovative projects. An overview of a pilot project that has as its main objective to increase the employability for Internationally-Trained Professionals (new Canadians) while fostering corporate innovation.

Publié dans : Recrutement & RH
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Diversity & Innovation - Lessons learned from employing a diverse workforce to foster innovative projects

  1. 1. 
 www.envisioninglabs.com of1 5 Diversity & Lessons learned from employing a diversified workforce to foster innova7ve projects envisioninglabs.com/csr-i Innovation
  2. 2. Introduction In the fall of 2015 we ran a research pilot with a non-profit organiza7on to prove a hypothesis that has been empirically verified repeatedly elsewhere1: diversity strengthens innova7on. We ini7ally proposed to employ Interna'onally-Trained Professionals or ITPs to become ‘innova7on consultants’ to work on real-world projects provided by companies in the Metro Vancouver area. While it is well known that qualified ITPs bring a wealth of skills and knowledge that they can put to use almost immediately aMer their arrival, they are normally subject to sub-employment for 3-5 years because of lack of the infamous “Canadian Experience”. 
 We asked, “what if, instead of having interna7onal talent working survival jobs while accumula7ng years of “Canadian experience”, they could u7lize their exper7se and skills right away in professional projects?” The proposal included exploi7ng the exis7ng skills of ITPs “as is” not individually, but as a group of professionals that would address problems and iden7fy opportuni7es for innova7on u7lizing one common approach: innova7on and design thinking. Before we share our lessons, let’s dive in a bit deeper and understand how ‘innova7on’ generally operates within organiza7ons, and why HR plays a pivotal role in fostering its adop7on and strengthening. www.envisioninglabs.com of2 5 “Fostering Innova'on Through a Diverse Workforce”. 
 Forbes Insight. 
 Survey of 321 execu7ves of large companies (Americas, APAC, EMEA) 
 h]p://ow.ly/ivOP308Kmrw
  3. 3. Innovation & Diversity in the Enterprise A common buzzword thrown around in presenta7on decks and the obligatory inclusion in annual reports, “innova7on” is a pervasive yet oMen misunderstood concept. Many execu7ves s7ll use it interchangeably to connote “technology” and even some others to define “IT ini7a7ves”. The reality is that innova7ve companies understand that the core concept of being a progressive organiza7on lies on the inculca7on of “innova7on” as a way of doing things; regardless of whether it is a mul7-million dollar deployment of an IT infrastructure or how to greet customers in a face-to-face bank teller service. The Only Way: Innova/on by Collabora/on An absolute essen7al ingredient to innova7on is collabora7on. The long-held myth that innova7on is the exclusive domain of lone geniuses and/or large research & development budgets has been proven wrong 7me and 7me again. Innova7on has been democra7zed and it is now easier than ever to come up with breakthroughs that seem to challenge the status quo of established industries. However, this seemingly new industrial revolu7on we are living is happening because now, more than ever, we have the means to collaborate with others in ways that were rather prohibi7ve just a few decades ago. Furthermore, this collabora7on is now global, diversified and inclusive. This is the current world order that seems to be the norm in the startup spheres, churning one innova7on aMer another. The lean en77es that survive past the startup phase not only embrace collabora7on for the sake of finding the next big thing, but they see it as the bloodline of their very existence. They have realized that this is not a trend; collabora7on and a diverse pool of talent are instrumental to clash ideas internally that more oMen than not render new products and services that genuinely add value to their customers. “Diversity fosters innovation and creativity through a greater variety of problem- solving approaches, perspectives, and ideas. Academic research has shown that diverse groups often outperform experts”
 - “Diversity MaAers”, McKinsey & Co. Feb 2015, hAp://ow.ly/aCmn308Kz22 www.envisioninglabs.com of3 5
  4. 4. Four Ways HR Can Stimulate Innovation Now more than ever HR teams have the opportunity to approach hiring as a mul7-pronged strategy that could fulfill the need to sa7sfy a vacancy, address a diversity quota and contribute to the strengthening of innova7on ini7a7ves (formal or not) in their organiza7ons. Below are some insights we learned from our pilot program and recommenda7ons we are proposing to HR leads to foster corporate innova7on. Hire for innova/on
 It’s been proven that diversity strengthens innova7on wherever there exists proper mechanisms to exploit mul7-skilled talent. Companies should pay more a]en7on to personal characteris7cs of new hires that are reflec7ve of an inquisi7ve personality, openness to new ideas and, to a certain extent, a progressive agtude to challenging the status quo. 
 Create opportuni/es for collabora/on
 Building the right framework that allows for cross-disciplinary, mul7-ethnic, mul7-skilled collabora7on is really the only way to exploit in-house crea7vity. Hackathons, 10% innova7on commitment, squash-bug days, innova7on fairs, cross-disciplinary task forces, they are all strategies that companies can engage their employees with virtually zero budget alloca7on, and yet reap the rewards in the form of new ideas, proposals and con7nuous improvement projects.
 
 Embrace 'diversity of thought’ and reward innova/on
 Organiza7ons that embrace the wide range of thought that derives from a diverse talent pool, are normally the ones to see trends and gain insights faster than others. A mo7vated workforce whose voice is heard and opinions encouraged are more likely to engage in innova7on ini7a7ves. Nothing kills innova7on faster than the lack of support from an organiza7on. Strategies we have observed that reward innova7on come in different flavours: from the simple (demo days, walls of fame, recogni7on plaques, etc.), to the more budget-intensive (innova7on bonuses, patent sponsorship). Regardless of the strategy, leading organiza7ons understand that paying special a]en7on to nurturing an environment that is recep7ve and encouraging of new ideas is cri7cal to the shaping of an innova7ve corporate culture. Ins/tu/onalize innova/on, a strategic role for HR
 Ul7mately, the responsibility to allow diversity of thought as a way to foster corporate innova7on falls primarily within HR. While a successful innova7on strategy is undoubtedly a top-down mandate, HR can and should create a suppor7ve and inclusive environment where the value of diversity is exploited for innova7on, and materialized as a concrete compe77ve advantage. www.envisioninglabs.com of4 5
  5. 5. www.envisioninglabs.com of5 5 Envisioning Labs is a Vancouver-based innova7on consultancy that assists organiza7ons in crea7ng new products and services that add value to their stakeholders. 
 We do this by applying systema7c innova7on methodologies and the adop7on of emerging technologies. We have recently introduced Corporate Social Responsibility Innova7on (CSR-i), an innova7on training service that empowers organiza7ons in iden7fying innova7on opportuni7es while assis7ng new immigrants obtain their first professional Canadian job experience. envisioninglabs.com/csr-i info@envisioninglabs.com About Envisioning Labs

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