Collaborate to innovate

Innovation is one of those buzzwords that gets used so much by businesses it can be at risk of losing its meaning. BRW’s Innovation issue (June 15 – 21) has been out for a couple of weeks. It cites an IBM Global Business Consulting 2006 CEO Survey that 35% of chief executives cite failure to create an “innovation culture” as their biggest obstacle.

While overcoming the barriers to an innovation culture may require financial, procedural or structural change, collaborative communication can chip away at those brick walls and provide fuel to the fires of corporate creativity. Drawing on the experience and insights of the whole workforce – the diversity within an organisation – can lead to real breakthroughs in product development, business process or customer service.

Does your communication culture support innovation?
Ideas can be suggested from anywhere in the organisation

  • Employees at all levels know how to raise an idea
  • Managers know what to do with ideas once they are raised

Collaboration is built in to communication practices

  • Team events include time for working on real business challenges
  • Collaborative technologies are used (databases, discussion boards, wikis, blogs)
  • Knowledge sharing occurs across functions or business units

Innovation is valued

  • Leaders tell true stories about innovation within the company that led to business success
  • Formal communication (intranet, newsletters) includes ‘idea-trigger’ content from diverse fields and other industries

Links
BRW (Subscription only)
http://www.brw.com.au
IBM CEO Study
http://www-306.ibm.com/e-business/ondemand/us/pointofview/enterprise/mar27/ceo_study.html

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