To know gives you a brief sense of control. When we know, we often think we are the only ones who know it. We think what we know is our ideas and can help us see into the future and are therefore innovative. The point is not to simply submit ideas, but to build upon one another's ideas. Your smartphone with its apps used to be a cell phone and before that a cordless phone and before that just a landline. Through intense collaboration people shared and built upon ideas to transition and invent and innovative smartphone. What did HR have to do with the smartphone invention?...IDK.
In many cases innovation is unintentional. Sarah the scientist is researching diabetes on mice and accidentally discovers a lead that might cure hypertension. How does Sarah's company reward her? If it's based on the number of ideas and solutions to cure diabetes, then I doubt Sarah will pay much attention to her accidental cure for hypertension. She has no incentive to share ideas. We don't innovate with intent in mind. A lot of times it happens on accident. At least for me it does.
Open and collaborative innovation happens when we share and build upon ideas. Most HR processes and technologies fail at sharing and building upon ideas. HR loves passwords, confidential information, confusing compensation and incentive plans, closed door meetings, top down communication and complex IT systems. What is HR doing to reward and incentivize (that is a buzzword) people for sharing and building upon ideas? IDK.
Know something. Explain it to others. Demonstrate what you know, then guide and be open to sharing your ideas. Enable other people to build upon your ideas. Be open to sharing ideas with people not in your company or current circle. Let them make it better. That is the innovation process. What are you doing to facilitate innovation? How do you help the innovation process? Do you know HR? Anyone...Bueller? Bueller?...
Photo Credit: Sister72