What pace is innovation at in your company?

September 5, 2018 Geoffroy De Lestrange



Our IDC-Cornerstone 2018 survey “Future Culture 2018: Building a Culture of Innovation in the Age of Digital Transformation has shown that innovation and talent management are linked. In 2018, digital transformation has become a must for any company, regardless of its size and sector of activity. Digital literacy is closely linked to the ability to innovate and thus, contributes to learning new skills and developing existing employees.


Recruiting new skills is imperative to supporting innovation. If this means that a thorough overhaul of training tools is needed, then companies need to get onboard.


But each company has its own specificities and therefore innovation takes many different paths and rhythms.


Enter the dance of innovation


The IDC-Cornerstone survey, conducted among more than 1,900 HR, business and IT professionals, identified four archetypes of innovation, based on the ability of companies to adapt their operations and to create new products or services. Each of these operational typologies responds to a specific category of music: salsa, rock, classical and electronic.


  • Salsa music comprises of many instruments and emphasises improvisation. Companies in this category (27% of UK companies) manage several brands, usually with relatively short product or service lifecycles and a high cadence towards introducing incremental improvements in every new release. As a result, product and service innovation is a core part of business operations, often found in R&D.
  • Companies classified in the classical category (24% of UK companies) tend to be conservative and refrain from change. Market leaders in this archetype do not shift and are less affected by macro developments. Innovation is primarily motivated by opportunities for incremental cost improvements.
  • On the contrary, those classified in the electronics category (25% of UK companies) are constantly evolving. They regularly launch new offers, without necessarily having a predefined roadmap. Their organisation is constantly


changing to respond to the dynamics of the market.


  • Finally, companies classified in the Rock category (24% of UK companies) may have low product or service innovation, but they are very fluid in terms of operational change. They therefore depend on the richness of their talents and the virtuosity of their teams.


From improvisation to symphony, each company has its own way of innovating. Before introducing innovation to own music, a company must first identify its innovation tempo. No archetype is better than another, but it is useful to know the strengths and improvement points of each archetype.


Finding out whether their business belongs to the classical, salsa, electronic or rock categories will help HR professionals focus on best practices to improve their business and drive it toward the results they want to achieve.


Aside from understanding your archetype, it’s important for organisations to consider other methods to improve innovation.


Changing recruitment criteria


While a match between the advertised job role and the candidate's skills is of course essential, other criteria appear in the context of digital transformation. Recruiters need to consider elements such as diversity or creativity when looking for their ideal candidate, as this will ensure that recruiters do not miss out on top talent that could have a significant impact on the business.


Develop the skills of tomorrow


To overcome the skills shortage that affects so many businesses, training strategies must integrate knowledge sharing, collaboration and coaching. Supporting high-potential employees through leadership programmes and developing e-learning training can also boost engagement and productivity.


Improve HR-Business Alignment


HR departments can lose sight of the strategic objectives of the company when torn between managing the admin associated with HR and the vital aspects of talent management. They must constantly communicate and exchange with the business to anticipate skills needs and find the talent needed to sustain the business.


About the Author

Geoffroy De Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand

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