Collaboration and Communication are the two superpowers that will turn even the unimaginative companies into innovative machines. Two-way communication can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to innovation (Forbes, 2018).
Collaboration means “to work jointly with others or together, especially in an intellectual endeavor” (Merriam-Webster). Communication is defined as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior” (Merriam-Webster). When the members of your organization clearly communicate with one another and work together, it can lead to significant, positive changes.
How Do You Build a Culture of Collaborative Innovation?
1. Create tools that allow team members to communicate strategically about innovation.
Remember that Innovation can occur at all levels of the organization. As a leader, you can foster innovation through round table discussions on how to improve the company, proposal sheets, etc.
2. Vet and refine ideas collectively and continuously
Create guidelines to vet innovations and invite a wide variety of employees to help refine the ideas.
3. Keep top leaders focused on helping get the resources and support they need.
You can provide support and resources through new processes, enhanced machinery, education, etc.
How Does Communication Lead to Innovation?
1. Inclusion and Diversity: Ideas can come from anyone at any level
2. Team Sport: having individuals who aren’t like-minded offers a variety of opinions which allows the team to come up with a solution for all levels of the problem.
3. Hyper Co-Development: everyone collaborates and develops together
4. Importance of Listening: by listening, understanding, and valuing other perspectives, we learn to adapt to solve a variety of problems
How to Apply Communication & Collaboration in Your Organization
I’ll leave you with six tips on how you, as a leader, can make changes in your organization that will improve communication and collaboration across the board—
1. Be hungry for innovation
2. Manage risk and failure in pursuit of innovation
3. Balance clear focus with big picture thinking
4. Coordinate and orchestrate responsibility
5. Embrace new models
For more great tips on how to spark innovation in your organization, check out the rest of the blogs from Innovation Junkie!