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TTL LookBack V2: Achieving Success When Implementing Disruptive Technology

Welcome to Talent Tech Labs Lookback. We spend a lot of time exploring the Talent Acquisition Ecosystem and Marketplace and while every TTL Trends Report focuses on a different theme, we occasionally like to look back at some of our greatest hits.

Achieving Success When Implementing Disruptive Technology

Rolf Kleiner is the principal at Renatus Partners, a consultancy focused on helping organizations operationalize innovation efforts to drive business growth.  Prior to his current role, Rolf was SVP and Chief Innovation Officer at Kelly Services, Inc. Cindy Gier is a partner and organizational performance consultant with Renatus Partners. Previously, Cindy was Global HR Director at General Motors.

Without innovation, today’s great ideas cannot turn into great success stories. While we are seemingly surrounded by innovation at every turn, some organizations continue to struggle with roadblocks or a lack of innovation. The secret to finding success for your talent acquisition technology implementation may just lie in taking a new approach— one that operationalizes innovation.

Begin with the end users in mind

There is no shortage of horror stories around major technology initiatives. In a sense, these initiatives can be considered innovation projects with the potential for being highly disruptive. Disruptive innovation, as defined by Clayton Christensen, is “a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”


Often those that blame disruptive technology for their ailing business simply missed their chance to take part in its innovation. Don’t miss out and see what Rolf Kleiner of Renatus Partners has to say.
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Regardless of leadership, the most critical aspect in securing a successful outcome for major change efforts is an inclusive approach. Inclusion does not necessarily imply a truly democratic process, but that all major stakeholders or end users affected by the impending change have an active role in the technology selection process. Logically, those asked to join the project team should be selected for their respective departmental subject matter expertise. A far more critical attribute to consider; however, is the stature, respect and influence the selected individual has within his or her own organization. Those on the selection team will ultimately serve as the vanguard of change for the rest of the organization.

Operationalizing Innovation: It takes a community of champions

Once technology has been identified for the innovation project, the technology selection team is expanded to a full project team and a project plan is developed. Companies that are serious about innovation curate and nurture a network of innovation focused resources who opt in and, as a result, have innovation knowledge and activities that are directed to them in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities. Creating, nurturing and leveraging a multi-disciplined network of enterprise innovation champions is a key success factor to implementing an innovation pilot affording companies to:

  • Leverage their innovation knowledge and impact across large, global organizations
  • Transform a company’s innovation passion into generating value for the enterprise
  • Build a culture of innovation by instituting a community of innovation champions to act as role models on “how” to innovate
  • Dynamic change skills: the “secret sauce”

    A Conference Board Council on Change Management article titled “Taming the Change Tiger” identified an emerging new pattern in change management with five guiding principles of how we need to change the way we change:

  • Business is in a continuous state of change; therefore change must become more agile, continuous and iterative.
  • Focus change management efforts on the new reality and future state to accelerate progress.
  • Traditional communications are no longer sufficient, thereby requiring dynamic, continual conversation and engagement.
  • Expand the circle of accountability for change. Change is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Adoption and internalized behavior change are the ultimate measure of success of change management—don’t claim success until the work outcomes demonstrate true business integration and adoption.
  • Honing your change skills is the “secret sauce” to successfully designing and implementing a disruptive innovation.


    “Creating, nurturing and leveraging a multi-disciplined network of enterprise innovation champions is a key success factor to implementing an innovation pilot affording companies to…” #innovation
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    Pilot execution

    Before you launch a wholesale redesign, starting with a pilot is an effective and potentially less costly way to figure out what works and what doesn’t for your organization. The construction and execution of a successful pilot includes the following key milestones:

  • Future state process workflow (integrated with an external technology partner if applicable)
  • Sub-tasks necessary to enable workflow
  • Marketing plan
  • Communication plan (internal and external)
  • Internal change plan for those who will be impacted by pilot
  • Success metrics
  • Pre-launch requirements (User Acceptance Test and general pre-launch tasks)
  • In innovation, time and resources are precious and cannot be wasted on a non-viable innovation. A successful innovation pilot implementation is not only defined by its performance metrics, but by its key learnings as well, regardless of whether the pilot succeeded or failed!

    Disruptive technology can either be seen as a challenge or opportunity. Kleiner shows us a means of operationalizing innovation for the sake of staying ahead of the game. Don’t let your company fall behind. Inspired yet? Want to discover more about investments, HR and talent acquisition? Head over to Talent Tech Labs website to get more industry insight and sign up for our blog. Want to explore more into TTL’s Think Tank and industry research? Download our latest trends reports and while you’re there jump into our series of trends reports covering topics from Real AI, Vendor Marketplace, Employer Branding and more!

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    Published on Dec 29, 2017

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