Fostering a Culture of Innovation: Internal Communications’ Objective

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Note from the Editor: Today we welcome a new author to our blog. Lelia Zapata (@leliafabi) is a teacher and researcher. She is an expert in Internal Communication and a founding partner at Talentos Reunidos. Welcome! You can follow her on her blog.

It is said that innovative culture must be the motor that excites creativity in work teams, fresh contributions, roads that lead to continuous improvement in  products/services and processes.

It is a serious mistake to relegate the activity of innovation to minority groups and defer this responsibility when you have time. Innovation is not simple.

It requires an innovative culture that we must support and spread. The responsible area for its diffusion is the company’s internal communication area.  

What can be done from the area of internal communication to implement an innovative culture?

15 Contributions in the area of internal communication for innovative culture 

1. Popularize the idea that innovation must be understood as any process of management. That it is not only competition in the area of I+D+I, nor marketing.  

2. Disseminate policy and innovation strategy designed by the Department or Management.  Fertilize the organization with continuous messages about collaborative innovation. The resources can be printed signs, online banners, blog posts, story-telling articles, interviews, reports, videos, etc.

3. Spread around the fact that innovation is a part of the company culture. Highlight sections which state commitment to innovation: mission, vision, business creed.

4. Circulate and promote good practices of new innovation models, citing what the competition is doing.

5. Support the leaders with specialized and permanent training. Detect training needs and educate the leaders following the detected needs and priorities.

6. Organize internal discussion groups, seminars with relevant speakers and participate in external forums.

7. Devise programs that innovate. An option can be to create channels with the only objective to foster innovation, such as a blog or a suggestion box. Through this channel you can diffuse the importance of innovation in everything: business models, products and services. 

8. Foster the use of online networks in work teams. Utilize the most appropriate networks as a type of business so that different teams and areas in the company use these collaborative networks to innovate and foster internal collaboration and use it externally as well.

9. Foster the exchange of knowledge, creating internal debate forums. Share articles, featured blog posts and reports.

10. Lead the creation of creative teams composed of members from different concentrations. Promote cross-communication and the creation of multidisciplinary teams fostering collaboration between departments and areas. 

11. Create recognition programs for leaders and collaborators. Reward the accuracy in the management of talent, giving immediate and merited rewards.

12. Reward participatory approaches, creativity and analytics as an innovative pillar.

13. Promote an internal climate that is positive and cooperative where there are rewards and it is possible to share, express an opinion and converse in a trustworthy and free environment.

14. Evaluate and diffuse results of different innovative projects that have been launched.

15. Foster a culture of continuous improvement and lifelong learning.