Effective Communication: The Key to Successful Innovation

The ability to effectively communicate is a major factor in any successful innovation process. As with most things, there are certain dos & don’ts that you should keep in mind while communicating about innovation. Explore this and much more!

Innovation is one of the main drivers of growth in every industry. But putting innovative ideas into practice can be challenging. Many companies make the mistake of assuming that their employees understand the objectives of innovation and how to achieve them, without clearly communicating it to them. Even if you are a leader in your company, it can be difficult to implement new ideas and keep your team motivated about constant change and innovation. The good news is that there are proven strategies to ensure that everyone understands their role in your company’s innovation process. So, let’s discover the why and how of effective communication in innovation.

How to Foster Effective Communication for Innovation?

Communication can sometimes be tricky, especially for those working in fast-paced and innovative environments. Streamlining thoughts and making sure that everyone understands what you mean can definitely be overwhelming. Doing so effectively is even more challenging.

Effective communication is important not only because it helps you get things done faster, but also because it reduces misunderstandings. Moreover, effective communication is one of the major catalysts behind new ideas and concepts taking root within an organization.

Communicating innovation isn’t just about making sure everyone knows what’s coming — it’s also about making sure people understand why these changes are important. Moreover, communication involves changing the mindset of employees, removing silos, and breaking organizational habits.

With so much to do — besides keeping in mind the best practices, you should also consider the common pitfalls to avoid while communicating innovation in your organization. Here are some pro tips to boost effective communication and make your life easier!

Convey the Innovation Agenda

As an innovation manager, one of your biggest priorities is getting your team members on board with your innovation strategy. You have to make a case for:

  • Why are you innovating?
  • What are the company’s innovation goals?
  • What are the problems you are trying to solve?
  • How each new idea is crucial for reaching the goals?

So, before you start communicating new ideas, make sure you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

Talk about Benefits but Don’t Ignore the Risks

When communicating a new idea, the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is the benefits. You just communicated the idea, so you want to talk about the upsides for the organization. However, it is important to also mention the risks and challenges that are associated with the idea.

Employees will appreciate the fact that you are being honest with them. Communication will flow better, and there will be less resistance to the idea when employees realize that the idea was thoroughly explored and that there is a plan B in case the idea doesn’t work as expected.

Also read: Build a Culture of Innovation in Your Organization

Don’t Share Too many Ideas at Once

Organizations are complex entities, and it is impossible to communicate all the ideas that are being explored at once. Employees will feel overwhelmed and won’t have time to properly process the information.

It is better to communicate a few ideas at once and then come back with more ideas once the first ones have been properly developed. This way you will have time to properly explore the ideas, and the employees will have time to process the information and will be ready for the next wave of ideas.

Explain Idea Prioritization

Ideas are explored and validated within an organization because there is a need for them. However, employees might not understand why an idea has been chosen over other alternatives. Explain why you chose to explore a particular path and how it fits the organizational goals and vision. Give examples of how other ideas didn’t make it to the validation stage because they didn’t pass the exploratory phase — this helps in future decision-making.

Establish Transparency

Transparency is the foundation of any successful corporate innovation program. The more information you share with employees about decision-making processes, project priorities, and who has different responsibilities, the easier it is for everyone to stay informed. When you keep your teams in the dark, communication is forced to flow up the organizational chart. This creates an imbalance of power that shuts out many employees from critical information.

However, keeping people in the loop doesn’t mean flooding them with endless emails and reports. Instead, make information accessible by creating channels like company-wide chat channels or internal social networks where everyone can ask questions, share ideas, and keep up with the latest news.

Encourage Employee Feedback

As an innovation leader, you are likely to receive a lot of feedback. After all, you are asking your team to generate new ideas, make suggestions, and submit improvements. How easy is it for them, though, to share this feedback with you?

Don’t forget to encourage your employees to give feedback — whether they want to discuss ideas, bottlenecks they are facing, or things they think are going well.

For this, you can use an internal social network. Set up discussion boards or channels where employees can submit feedback. Clearly define the purpose of each channel so that people know where to post what. You can also create a live chat portal where employees can ask questions to get feedback or express concerns.

Also read: How Intrapreneurship boosts Corporate Innovation




Take Your Message to Ideal Target Groups with the StartUs Insights Open Innovation Service

So far, we have discussed how to communicate innovation within your organization. But, what about widening your horizon, i.e., Open Innovation? Communication plays a very important role here as well. Do you have an Open Innovation Program in place? Great! But, how exactly should you communicate your program to the world? Leave that to us.

We, at StartUs Insights, communicate and promote your innovation program in two ways:

  • Direct Outreach — Using the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, our expert analysts shortlist more than 2 000 relevant startups catering to your criteria from a huge database of 2 093 000+ companies and directly reach out to them with your offer and convince them to apply.
  • Promotional Activities — Our marketing ninjas produce informative SEO-driven articles promoting the program to be published in our blog and super-engaging social media copies that are posted across our social media channels.

Our data-driven promotion, direct outreach, and storytelling reach hundreds of thousands of startups and scaleups, making sure you attract the most relevant ones. This is why 500+ companies trust us with their startup programs!

Apart from the core services mentioned above, we also offer:

  • Setup of Conversion-Optimized Landing Page: Don’t have the time or bandwidth to create the web page for your program? Taking maximum advantage of our experience with SEO-optimized content, we set up the landing page of your startup program to attract more applicants.
  • Applicant Pre-screening: Received more applicants than you can handle? We got you! Our in-house trained analysts will analyze startup data to pre-screen the applicants with the best potential.

So, now, let’s quickly sum up what you get when you partner with StartUs Insights:

  • Receive High-Quality Applications — Your message needs to travel to thousands so that you have plenty of options to choose the best startups from. Our conversion channels reach hundreds of thousands to make sure the most relevant ones convert to your program.
  • Optimize the Program Effort — We offer you our experience and knowledge gathered while transforming the largest European startup and innovation community into a global network. This results in a lean and conversion-optimized setup for your startup program.
  • Build Long-Term Awareness — We understand that with every program cohort, it becomes more and more challenging to reach relevant startups. We make sure to increase the value of our network and reach every day so that you can benefit from it in the long term.

So, for your next Open Innovation Program, work with us to discover the best startups and scaleups to collaborate with.

Read this next: Accelerate Open Innovation with Data-driven Startup Programs

Ready to Leverage Effective Communication?

Communication is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of leading a company. It is the only means through which you can get your point across to employees, customers, and the public at large. However, communication is not a one-way street — what you receive depends a lot on what you send out. Therefore, it is important to convey your message wisely. You tell us — what are the golden rules that you follow while communicating innovation? Get in touch & share your tips!

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