George Bernard Shaw once said that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. This rings true for too many companies out there trying to navigate the innovation landscape – just because something has been said doesn’t mean that the message has been internalised by your team. However, as an organisation-wide enterprise, innovation demands a fertile communication environment in order to flourish.
There are as many reasons to ensure strong innovation communication as there are people in your organisation. However, we’ve pulled out four of the most important in the hopes that you’ll include a communications process in your next innovation strategy meeting. Don’t let it be an afterthought.
Find the root of your business challenges
Listening is the first step in effective innovation communication and an essential part of a quality innovation platform. When you listen closely to your team and value their input without judgment, you’ll start to piece together the root cause of the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. This is the first step in building efficiencies in your work processes and engineering optimised business outcomes.
Key takeaway: Make sure you create a platform for your entire team to share their challenges, concerns and capture ideas anonymously. Digital platforms like Idea Drop are ideal for this; use our cloaking feature to put forward candid ideas anonymously.
Get everybody on board
Innovation isn’t the sole responsibility of a select few individuals; you’ll need buy-in from the entire team if you want to create a truly innovative culture. That means ensuring that everybody understands the ‘why’ of innovation and the ways it can benefit their working lives. Once your colleagues internalise the need for innovation, they’ll want to help craft the future working landscape of your organisation.
Key takeaway: Create communication channels that help you demonstrate the ‘why’ of innovation. You’ll need to pick channels that your team pays attention to. Remember, not everybody reads those monthly internal newsletters!
Make the most out of your projects
In truly innovative companies, a successful innovation project is only the beginning. Once you’ve proven that you can create efficiencies using a new technology, process or system, it’s time to capitalise on your innovation by applying it to different sectors and activities within your business. For example, a new CRM system in marketing could revolutionise the way HR communicates with internal stakeholders. In order to maximise the potential of every innovation, you need transparency across the whole organisation. That means building a great innovation communications architecture.
Key takeaway: Make sure your innovation projects are visible across the entire business. This is especially important for globally connected businesses prone to operating in silos. Build a platform to communicate and maintain universal visibility on your innovation projects.
Keep senior management happy
Executive-level sponsorship is a key part of a successful innovation programme. If you don’t have the enthusiastic support of c-level staff, you’ll meet added resistance whilst trying to drive change, even when it’s for the better. Keeping senior staff members on board means effectively communicating the benefits of innovation, as well as the results of your projects to date. Clear lines of communication will help you make sure they are comfortable with the changes you’re making.
Key takeaway: Make sure you’ve identified a platform for top-level stakeholder management and buy-in. In order to earn their trust, you’ll need to listen carefully to their needs and make sure they understand what you’re trying to achieve.
Never forget that innovation communication is always a two-way street. Making regular announcements isn’t enough – you need to listen to your team as much, if not more, than you speak. Make communication your priority and the rest will take care of itself.
If you’d like to learn more about how the Idea Drop platform enables global teams to communicate effectively, get in touch with us using the chat box below. There’s always someone on hand ready to help you develop your innovation programme.