How Better Communication In An Organization Can Lead To Innovation
Communication is critical to an organization’s success and growth. An organization where employees know that their ideas will be heard and valued is bound to be innovative. Innovation is a matter of survival when it comes to business. Without change and improvisation, no organization can last long. In this regard, many companies believe inspiration, funding, brilliant ideas, etc., are the critical factors in developing the latest breakthrough. However, the most significant factor that helps the innovation process in an organization is communication. Clear and cut communication within a business structure is the key to a culture of innovation. Open and precise communication of ideas, feelings, and information is the lifeblood for business success.
Effects Of Team Communication On Innovation:
According to a paper published in 2004 in Creativity and Innovation Management, the amount of communication between different teams and individuals makes a big difference in their creativity. The frequency and the methodology of communication between team members had a significant impact on creative output. That means that members of different teams working on the same project must collaborate efficiently to accelerate the innovation process. Therefore, they need to be great communicators and possess the right skills to present their ideas. The organization’s role in this regard is to find ways to enhance the employees’ communication skills. For instance, the company may require employees to have no less than a master of arts in communication or relevant education. They may also hold training sessions or workshops to improve internal communication.
Communication is essential for organizational safety:
In industries such as medicine, nuclear power, etc., effective communication has utmost importance. When there is ineffective communication between different departments, it sabotages people’s abilities to be innovative. It can also result in oversights or errors. For example, consider an aircraft manufacturing company with virtually no communication between the upper management and the engineer. As a result, the engineer has some creative ideas about improving aircraft safety but cannot translate them to the management.
Neither the engineer nor the management has given their staff any faith in their ability to communicate effectively. Thus, lack of communication endangers the aircraft’s safety standards and drowns the employees’ ambition to be innovative. While to ensure the organization’s survival and performance, it is essential to speak up when necessary. It is necessary for workers of all levels to feel empowered and play their part in highlighting areas of improvement.
Collaboration leads to new product development:
Individuals responsible for product development are mainly dependent on both internal and external communication patterns. Product development teams are the pinnacle of every organization’s innovation process, but only if they practice better communication. Teams involved with product development, R&D, and related departments need to obtain information from other parts of the organization. They may also have to share the info, which is only possible with strong internal communication. Therefore, a collaboration between different teams is the key to completing a successful product that is market-ready. For innovation teams to be in sync, consistent, meaningful, and regular communication is essential. Successful internal collaboration brings about the most innovation.
Better communication eradicates ideas that destroy innovation:
It’s as simple as that if your organization has a disastrous communication structure, then you’ll never be able to practice innovation. Surprisingly, there is nothing significant that affects innovation in an organization. Instead, it’s a specific mindset and a few negative ideas that negatively affect the innovation process. For instance, some employees may stigmatize or stereotype innovation to a particular group of people or even a department.
It stops people from collaborating and sharing ideas. If one team stops communicating, then the entire innovation process is jeopardized. Innovation within the workplace comes from collaboration. Therefore, the organization should banish ideas like ‘innovation is separate from everyday work’ or ‘it is something that people do when they have free time. Instead, make sure every employee is naturally engaged in innovation by effectively communicating that anyone can propose an idea.
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How to improve communication in a workplace?
Organizations can improve communication and enhance innovation by paying attention to the following key areas:
- Listening: The golden rule of better communication is to listen more and talk less. The key is to show that you care and value the opinion of the communicator. You do that by listening and showing empathy. You have to do both diligently – hear and encourage dialogue. Listen to your employees and encourage feedback as part of your innovation strategy.
- Be transparent: Effective communication does not rely on false promises and misinformation. An organization must communicate its goals in clear-cut language to the entire hierarchy. It also includes being honest about the successes and the failures of the organization. And be open about the challenges ahead.
- Pick the best medium: There are multiple modes of communication which an organization can effectively use to convey their message in the best format. The company should carefully choose the medium of communication that best reflects its goals, message, and expectations.
Positive and better communication between individuals in an organization is critical to innovation. Without collaboration and sharing of ideas, an organization cannot elevate its innovation process. Without innovation, it cannot survive for long. Hence, companies should pay extra attention to improving their mode of communication, especially between different teams. Every employee needs to be sound in communication. The company provides enough confidence to them to share their ideas. Innovation is critical to the survival of any organization, and communication is essential to innovation.