Moving Nevada Forward

in support of higher education

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Innovate Our Way Out


Innovation (Photo credit: Seth1492)

Nevada will need to innovate our way out by creating a culture of innovation which requires partners in education, industry and our community.

What is your definition of innovation?

The SHRM Board of Directors Chair Bette Francis, told HR professionals at SHRM 2013 that supporting innovation is their most pressing organizational goal.  It is critical to the success of every organization.  “We need to innovate our way out of the problems we face,” she said.  She further explained HR professionals play a critical role in creating real organizational change by helping to build a culture that actively supports innovation.  I agree that HR professionals need to roll up their sleeves and become part of the solution in moving organizations forward.

She cited innovation expert Michael Stanleigh, CEO of Business Improvement Architects who found the most innovative organizations:

1. Keep their organizational structures flat

2. Dare their employees to dream

3. Expect employees to regularly present new ideas to senior management–no matter how off-the-wall they may seem.

She said it is the company culture that determines success of innovation.  If it is not supported by management or is frowned upon by peers the flow of ideas will shut down.  She described a culture of innovation as one to encourage collaboration, it gives people the confidence to make suggestions, and sees mistakes as steps on the road to success.

This is where HR has a vital role to play in higher education and in Nevada HR can serve as a catalyst for change with a shortage of skilled workers, and close the global skills gap.  No doubt a cultural change in Nevada will be a challenge as the culture of the old wild west is fiercely independent.  But as Francis emphasized, “It is up to us“, to shape the future of business, the workplace and millions of workers around the world.

Please share your experiences with creating a culture of innovation.


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Welcome to the Century of Women

NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw.

NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am on my way to the 2013 SHRM national conference.  Last summer Tom Brokaw presented at the closing session of the SHRM conference. He stunned the audience with his controversial statement about it being the Century of Women. He wrote for a blog called, Lean In based on a book written by Facebook CEO, Sheryl Sandberg.  She encourages women not to leave before you leave. Don’t lean back, rather lean in. She writes a truly equal world would be where women ran half of our country and men ran half of our homes. Currently there are only 21 women CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN11 - Sheryl Sandberg, ...

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN11 – Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, USA; Young Global Leader are captured during the session ‘Handling Hyper-connectivity’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2011. Copyright by World Economic Forum by Jolanda Flubacher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brokaw writes, “as the challenges of the 21st century demand more from each of us shouldn’t we be thinking as much about how to free up more women for the common good as we do about immigration, entitlement reform, and debt reduction?” He appeared on the NBC today show as a father of three daughters, adding his voice to the debate about women in the workplace and the home, saying women have never made “as many gains in the history of mankind” as they are making now, but “we have a long way to go around the world.”

When I moved to Nevada ten years ago, I had a female boss warn me that Nevada is still a “good ol’ boy State”. While I think there might be some truth to this statement, I believe Nevada has made great strides just like the rest of the world. It is fair to say Nevada has exceeded my expectation in almost every way.

However I would say I agree with Tom, we have a long way to go, and Nevadans should listen closely and be thinking about how to free up women for the common good to help move Nevada forward.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?