Mindful HR is the missing link to breakthrough innovation?  No way!  And, yes, you are right.  Human resources and even less “mindful human resources” don’t have much, if anything, to do with innovation.  A resource is a thing.  And a thing is not what I have in mind when I am thinking of mindful hr as the missing link to breakthrough innovation.   What I am referring to is mindful human recognition.

Talking of mindful (human) resources is an insult to our human spirit.

A thing is a thing is a thing.  And a thing is not the link to breakthrough innovation in the digital age.  Even artificial intelligence or machine learnings are not the “links” to breakthrough innovation, as important and prevalent as they are becoming.  For a thing lacks what distinguishes human from things or resources: creativity, empathy, compassion, love, emotions.

Mindful human recognition in contrast opens doors to creativity.  It signals that there is something special to explore: us, our own human being.

What does this mean for HR and business?

Granted, “HR” has come a long way, doesn’t treat employees as mere resources but as people, as human beings.  Of course, there are still the various administrative duties that need to be performed in HR business.   However, they will not make any difference in breakthrough innovation.

People.  The spirit of innovation.

The key is to put the spotlight on the spirit of an innovative business which is people.  Products and processes still matter.  However, without people nothing gets innovated.  Products and processes don’t innovate; people do. Innovation needs the creativity and ingenuity of people.  Hence, innovation always starts with people.  Technology can help and accelerate the process and yet are still only tools.

If this is true, the question arises why business still rarely speaks of and promotes people innovation.  What role does people innovation play in your own business environment?  What’s invested, how is it recognized, nurtured and rewarded?

HR can help business recognize the nucleus of innovation

It can point those working in innovative areas to the significance and potential of people in innovation.  But it first has to start with itself by not referring to employees as human resources but as human beings.  On this token, let’s be honest:  There is no room for classical, traditional “HR” in an innovative environment.  Old HR is dead.

For breakthrough innovation to emerge it takes more than product and processes.  The missing link is mindful human recognition, i.e., recognizing and actively integrating our own human creativity and ingenuity. Corollary, mindful hr is not limited to “HR” teams or departments.  It ought to be understood and practiced by everyone working in an innovative environment.

Accelerating innovation

“HR” is less of a business partner.  It, i.e., human recognition, is the incubator and accelerator of innovation in business.  This is why, mindful HR is the missing link to breakthrough innovation.  Especially in today’s digital age.


Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay