Sunday, February 1, 2009

The World is Your Think Tank

In a recent paper, "The World is Your Think Tank - How to Harness Idea Flow and Top Talent for Competitive Advantage" I wrote about a new business model that can harness both internal and external talent more effectively, including references to Dell, IBM, and Innocentive :

To compete against Asian organizations, North American companies need to continually become more competitive and innovative. As the world becomes increasingly “flat” and hypercompetitive, labour advantages will tip the scales in favour of companies in developing nations. A key determinant of future success for western European and North American organizations will be the ability to attract creative, problem-solving talent.

The world is your think tank proposes a new HR-finance innovation management team and decision-making model to successfully translate idea flow into cash flow. This new model uses an enterprise-wide process for tapping the creativity of employees and the global talent pool. Only the organizations with access to the best ideas and the best-integrated idea management processes will achieve long-term survival.

Organizations must also take the crucial next step of managing the idea flow so they can identify and bring the best ones to fruition. By tightly integrating the HR and finance functions into a new role that sparks and manages idea flow, global talent from anywhere can be transformed into cash flow and balance sheet value.

As the financial crisis has resulted in a global recession in 2009, I am even more convinced that both the HR organization and the CFO have significant responsibilities to ensuring that the best ideas are surfaced and acted upon.