The Road to Disruption Starts Here

The world doesn’t tend to see HR peeps as innovators. (even though we clearly are!) To change that perspective however, it’s tough to jump right to disruption. Now, don’t get me wrong. I heart disruption. I really do. I love #DisruptHR and all of it’s people and participants. (Hell yeah and thank you to Jennifer McClure!) But for those of you who are either not ready for it yet or are ready but not sure how to sell it in, I’m here for you. The challenge with going right for disruption is that you have to be killing it on the basics. Cost of entry. People need to get paid, accurately. People need to be hired. And heard. And thanked. And all of the millions of other challenges we as HR practitioners face every single day. The thing is, when we’re not delivering on the old standards (or making it known when we are), it’s tough to get anyone to listen to us about disruption. So, how do we deliver consistently as HR leaders in order to get all roads to lead to innovation? There are some simple tips to get us on the right track.

Be Consistent

This seems straightforward. Almost too easy. Do what you say you’re going to do. When our actions and words match, it goes a long way towards building trust with those around us. That goes for promises to candidates, new hires, employees, CEOs, etc. Part of that means being mindful and realistic about what you’re capable of delivering and when. Many of us have had those moments where best of intentions got the better of us. When we were certain we could make something happen and suddenly were unable. Overpromising is tempting but it sucks when it doesn’t work out in our favor. Be reasonable and realistic about what you’re committing to. And that leads into point #2.

Own It

When you’ve botched something up, say so. That’s right. We mess up. It happens. We’re human. Hiding, pretending it didn’t occur or blaming others doesn’t really do you any favors. In fact, owning up to your mistakes can solidify relationships just like consistency. If you’re willing to share your own humanity and working to rectify any mistakes made, people are more likely to believe and trust in you going forward. *within reason. If the errors are constant, take a closer look as something else might be going on here.

Share Your Wins

I’m not saying be obnoxious about it. But it can’t hurt you to share your successes. Has something you’ve recently launched made a dent in people’s experience? Impacted the business? Find ways to make that known to decision makers within your organization. Share your own stories of triumph and perhaps it might inspire others to do some of the same. Knowledge of your recent successes will be valuable when it comes time to present an idea that will shake things up.

Ask the Right Questions

Is it innovation for innovation’s sake or is it solving for a business challenge? Disrupting simply to shake things up isn’t necessarily the way to go. However, doing so in a way that addresses an existing organizational challenge might just be the ticket. Know what you’re looking to solve for and be ready to address any reactions to disruption armed with facts. And reminders of your stellar track record won’t hurt.

Trust me, I want to move fast and break things like a lot of us do. I want HR teams across the land to be seen as the true innovators we can be. But building a solid foundation on which to start is immensely valuable and not something to be overlooked. Small changes every day lead to big change before you know it. So, don’t let your lack of patience get the best of you. Push for small changes daily, while killing it on the regular and before you know it you’ll be blowing minds with your ideas and inventions. Shout out to my fellow disruptors hosting events this week across the globe! Please keep bringing the inspiration!

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Kelly Poulson

Kelly has spent her career helping people kick ass and become better versions of themselves. Coaching, training, recruiting – you name it, she’s done it, and in a variety of industries ranging from advertising to behavioral health to tourism and beyond. Be it supporting new managers in their journeys from uncertain supervisors to rock star bosses, helping lost newbies zero in on what they want from their careers and find their inner confidence to ask for (and receive) that promotion, or enabling leaders to be more self-aware in their management styles and more skillfully interact with those around them, she’s done it all. Outside of pushing to make people and organizations better, Kelly spends most of her time marathoning Netflix programming with her mutt, Dexter. Connect with Kelly.

Reader Interactions


  1. sahil jangid says

    Hello kelly,

    Really good job kelly. Truly, both the points mentioned in this post are too interesting and informative for me and I learned lots…………thanks kelly for sharing this amazing post with us and make us part of this post.

  2. claudia says

    Hey Kelly,

    quite an informative article and a good read!

    As far as recruiting and acquiring the best talents is concerned there’s an urge of Staffing Software coz its pretty competitive in today’s HR world to have a best suited candidate in one go! Above all these an expert HR/recruiter are one those who acquire talents by tracking them on job boards, publishing jobs on job boards and having records in an ATS System. Its all possible if they have a good hand in using ATS Software.I mean hows its even possible in such a competitive market to maintain all those records manually or by paper shredding!

    Hope this would clear all sort of HR aspects!

    Peace Out & Cheers!!


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