Businesses in Asia Not Equipped to Achieve Sustainable Innovation, Despite Optimism

February 14, 201710:42 am838 views

Whilst driving innovation is a key priority for businesses across the globe over the next 12 months, organisations in Asia are not equipped to achieve this sustainably, despite being optimistic, reveals findings from a new research by PageUp, a leading multinational Talent Management Software-as-a-Service provider.

The Inaugural PageUp Global HR Innovation Study recently launched highlights, HR has a crucial role to play in helping businesses harness long-term innovation, but they are yet to deliver.

The PageUp study, conducted in association with Alexander Mann Solutions, and titled, Driving a Culture of Innovation, drew insight from 322 business and HR professionals, including 99 respondents across Asia.

Respondents were asked questions about the culture of innovation in their organisations and the maturity of their current talent management practices. The research revealed that three quarters of organisations hold innovation as a corporate value, and 64 percent believe driving innovation is a priority in the next 12 months.

In Asia, businesses are more likely (86 percent) than their international peers (75 percent) to encourage creativity and innovation as a corporate value. Asian businesses also score themselves slightly higher than the global average (55 percent vs 48 percent globally) when asked if their company promotes entrepreneurship and risk-taking.

The study found that, while there is a desire to innovate amongst organisations, necessary frameworks are not in place to bring this to fruition. Although Asian businesses are slightly more likely to recognise and reward innovation (56 percent vs 53 percent), very few have established performance management practices for doing so (41 percent vs 38 percent) which is key to establishing a culture of innovation.

Additionally, Asian businesses score higher than their global peers for training employees to be innovative and creative (57 percent vs 39 percent) which can help drive enterprise-wide innovation capability within Asian companies. They were also much more likely to have established, or mature practices to specifically equip employees with innovation skills (43 percent compared to 28 percent globally).

Rebecca Skilbeck, Global Market Researcher at PageUp, said whilst the results paint a positive picture in Asia, there is still room for improvement.

“It’s promising to see businesses in Asia optimistic about achieving innovation, but there is still work to be done to ensure the processes are in place to execute this in a meaningful and sustainable way,” said Rebecca Skilbeck, Global Market Researcher at PageUp.

“Without HR processes that recruit, develop and nurture innovative talent or frameworks for developing and prioritising new ideas, innovation can easily become a flash-in-the-pan moment rather than a long-term strategy to safeguard the organisation into the future.”

“In an increasingly competitive world, companies must place greater emphasis on acquiring talent that champion innovation and action,” said Jerry Collier, Director of Innovation for Alexander Mann Solutions.

This means they must re-orient their recruitment strategies to identify these qualities in new employees, while continuing to develop those already in the organisation who demonstrate these skills.

Results from the PageUp research also demonstrate that while HR and talent management practices are critical in supporting sustained innovation, HR is yet to deliver on this promise.

HR professionals are more confident (80 percent) than their non-HR peers (67 percent) that they have a role in driving organisation-wide innovation, and were nearly twice as likely (43 percent vs 24 percent) to believe they are currently driving innovation in their organisation.

“A sustainable culture of innovation requires a commitment to creating company-wide capability, and HR is well-placed to have a significant and strategic influence here,” Rebecca Skilbeck added.

“The benefits HR can drive – through talent acquisition, performance management, talent mobility, and diversity and engagement programs as well as learning and development opportunities that support a culture of innovation are irrefutable. The HR industry has a very ripe opportunity to shift internal perceptions, increase its value proposition and start delivering on the promise of sustainable innovation that contributes to the organisation’s bottom line.”

The Global HR Innovation Survey was conducted by PageUp, with the support of Alexander Mann Solutions. It was conducted in October 2016 among 322 business and HR professionals. In Asia, the survey was completed by 99 business and HR professionals.

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