Crossing HR Borders - How to stimulate change?

'Don't think outside the box, think outside your industry.' For a lot of HR problems today, a different domain has already solved that challenge. It can be very inspiring to cross some borders to gain new insights. And we're not talking about just crossing country borders, but also the borders of your discipline, industry or other unexpected resources. These insights can lead to specific solutions of the challenges that you're facing today.

Explore these examples in this monthly 'Crossing HR Borders' series.

As a manager or a company owner running your business, we know change is needed from time to time. We also do know that change is not always simple and easily implemented: it takes time, discussion, good communication, self-reflection, energy.. and above all, the willingness to change.

So how to stimulate this change-mindset?
How can we convince our peers, employees and/or colleagues that change can definitely be considered as a positive challenge full of learning and growth possibilities?

Let's check out some inspirational approaches in this newsletter!

Change by necessity

In the initial phase of the coronavirus, care institutions had all hands on deck with one goal: to care for COVID patients. There was no room for the NIMJD syndrome (Not In My Job Description). Doctors took on nursing duties. Specialized care professions, such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists, were suddenly also on the shop floor. SWAP teams departed from hospitals and provided support for the tests in residential care centers.

Nothing prevents us from taking a more open-minded look at how to fill tasks more flexibly, taking into account the talents of our employees.

>>> How can you fight the NIMJD syndrome in your organization?

Change thanks to 'Fun'

The Fun Theory is an initiative by Volkswagen that aims to positively change behavior by introducing the 'fun' factor, for example a piano staircase that makes music to encourage people to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Or what about the lottery for respecting speed limits in traffic? A speed camera recorded the speed of all motorists. Instead of giving a fine to offenders, a lottery ticket was registered for each person who respected the speed limits.

>>> Which activities can you give a higher 'fun' factor in order for employees to positively change their behavior?

Change due to scarcity

‘Frugal' innovation is about eliminating non-essentials to create a simple, sustainable, affordable solution. The greater the constraints, the greater the need for creativity. In India for example, there is a clay fridge with a simple manual cooling system as many people do not have access to electricity.

Or in Kenya, 50% of the population make payments using their mobile phone as the vast majority of the country does not have a bank account.

>>> Do you see opportunities for 'frugal' innovation in some HR processes where resources are scarce?

Change by breaking down the layers of management

Brady Pyle had been Deputy HR Director at NASA for 3 years and was looking for a way to broaden his experience. Instead of seeking that experience higher up or elsewhere, he decided to spend 9 months leading a small group of engineers. He describes it afterwards as a wonderful learning experience. The 'ambitious' plans from senior management seldom reached the real executives in the right way, which naturally led to resistance and miscommunication.

>>> What would happen if senior managers were to go out on the shop floor more often?

'Crossing HR Borders' is the result of a co-creation between Marc Heleven - Innovation researcher and Cyriel Kortleven - Global speaker on the Change Mindset.

These articles were first published in the Flemish HR Magazine ZigZag.
More info: www.cyrielkortleven.com