Exit the Echo Chamber. Demand Innovation in HR

A Journey to Embrace Innovation and Growth


It’s week three of my family and I staying in the San Francisco Bay Area and I can already feel myself getting sucked into the Silicon Valley centric point of view. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as the world and innovation moves people differently here. People follow their passions and dreams. Infinity exists. Everyone is busy building, designing and doing and there is little time left for fast food, lazy Saturday afternoons and television viewing. The most productive business meetings and company team building happen on weekdays at 9:00 PM. It’s a place where your next idea could be the next big thing. It could in fact change the world. I feel myself getting fitter and hungrier for change with every passing moment as we look for a home to relocate to.

Innovation in HR and Human Capital

Innovation and creativity is the cocaine of Silicon Valley. The smell and feel is literally in the air. It’s dripping with possibility, passion and promise. Imagine if the HR and human capital industry was addicted to change. We already are, but imagine if we thrived on change in every fiber of our being. Imagine if we were happy about change, and change fueled our very way of life. Imagine if we were open and anticipating the possibility of change and how we can bend it to suit our business needs. As if we needed change to survive.

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Actually, we do. We need change, and it’s time that we make the decision to leave our comfortable place where we know who we are and just what we want to do. It’s time to exit the echo chamber within you.

The Echo Chamber Effect

Unfortunately, the outside world, particularly human capital and HR doesn’t follow the notion that innovation is their drug of choice. Most live in the world where reality is just enough and TPS reports are a way of life. I’m not saying that a life like that is wrong, but in the long term, the zero innovation zone is where businesses, ideas and individuals go to die. The echo chamber effect is comfortable as it is certain, familiar and literally written in stone. It’s how I operated working as a corporate HR Director and was fully committed until fate intervened. I lived in the echo chamber and zero innovation zone, and I was happy with this reality because no alternative existed in my mind.

Frankly, we need a balance of the doers and dreamers in this world. No matter the location we travel, the industry in which we work or the job we do, there exists an echo chamber, a place where you, your friends and colleagues are comfortable in what it is you do. It’s time to exit that echo chamber. Get out to experience a new world and find something new. Maybe it’s a different point of view.

In the echo chamber, we

  • always have tomorrow
  • see failure as mistakes and not growth and learning
  • operate in theory as if it was proven and fact

It’s time to put that money where your mouth is and step outside the echo chamber and into the sunlight.

One enters and exists the echo chamber at different points in their life. What are you doing to exit the echo chamber today?

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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