Tag Archives: communications

Four Keys to Effective Team Communication

Four Keys to Effective Team Communication

GUEST POST from David Burkus

Communication is what makes a team a team. Otherwise, it’s just a group of individuals working away at their desks, handing work up to some unnamed boss. In reality, people don’t work in a vacuum. And much of one individual’s work requires coordinating with one or more teams. Effective team communication makes individuals and teams dramatically more productive.

But unfortunately, a majority of employees say poor communication is the reason they’re falling behind and missing deadlines. That means, as a leader, one of your primary responsibilities is helping the team communicate and collaborate effectively.

In this article, we’ll outline four keys to effective team communication.

1. Match the Tool to the Goal

The first key to effective team communication is to match the tool to the goal. There are so many different collaboration tools available to teams today. From “old school” methods like in-person meetings, memos, and email to modern methods like video conferencing, Slack, and maybe even the metaverse. But every tool chosen comes with certain strengths and certain weaknesses. And as a result, different tools are more appropriate for different tasks. For instance, if the goal of the communication is to generate ideas, then face-to-face meetings are likely still the best method. But if you’re just presenting information to the team, video conference should suffice—or even better, just record yourself talking over the slide deck, send it out as a video, and save everyone from one more meeting.

Smart leaders consider the goal of the communication they are asking their team to engage in, and then select the appropriate medium of communication accordingly. More importantly, they don’t just choose the medium they prefer—but they consider the entire team and chose what is best for everyone.

2. Amplify Unheard Voices

The second key to effective team communication is to amplify unheard voices. On any team, there are certain voices that are louder and more frequent, and others that go unheard. Sometimes this is because of existing gender, racial, or ethnic biases that leave certain voices unnoticed or quickly dismissed. But often even the medium of communication chosen favors some team members and leaves others less likely to contribute. The setting of in-person meetings can favor loud, extroverted participants and signal introverted, more contemplative participants to contribute less often. The technology required for video conferences often favors more tech-savvy participants than those with great ideas who can’t figure out how to get off mute fast enough to share them. Even email communication can favor those with better written communication skills or those who utilize long-form writing as a tool for thinking.

Smart leaders understand their team and know who is favored or un-favored by the chosen tool for communication. Armed with that knowledge, they make a plan to pay attention to the oft-unheard voices and amplify those comments to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone’s opinion considered.

3. Create A Safe Environment

The third key to effective team communication is to create a safe environment. This doesn’t mean a “safe space” where team members will never encounter an idea they disagree with. Rather it refers to a team environment of psychological safety, where team members feel safe to express their disagreements, and also their “crazy” ideas, suggestions, and perspectives. Psychologically safe teams are marked by a mutual sense of trust and respect—and those are two different qualities. When team members trust each other, they express themselves fully. But only if they feel their expression is respected by the team will they continue to trust them.

Smart leaders build trust by signaling their own vulnerability and admit when they don’t know the answer (which not only shows their trusting the team but also gives the team a chance to express different ideas). They also build respect by modeling active listening when others are sharing and showing a willingness to consider all ideas—not just defend their own.

4. Don’t Be Always On

The fourth key to effective team communication is to avoid being in constant communication—don’t be always on. While it may seem like high-performing teams are constantly communicating, it turns out many are marked by long periods without any real-time messaging. They definitely communicate—but they do it in quick bursts where everyone shares updates, problems, and the team solves in problems or roadblocks mentioned. Then they go their separate ways and trust each other to performing independently—which also allows each person enough time to focus and do the deep work that “always on” environments prevent.

Smart leaders teach their team to communicate in bursts, running meetings efficiently and infrequently. But some leaders inherit teams already in constant communication, so rather than flipping immediately to bursty communication they develop “no meeting Mondays” or certain small periods of time for team members to block out communication and focus—then gradually expand that time until the team is communicating less but better.

When you take these four together, and communicate in bursts in a safe environment, amplifying unheard voices and using the appropriate tools, you’ll find that your team’s communication improves. You’ll find the quality of their work improves. And you might just feel like your team is doing its best work ever.

Image credit: Pexels

Originally published at https://davidburkus.com on March 13, 2023.

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The Importance of Effective Communication in Change Management

Highlighting the significance of clear and consistent communication throughout the change process, and providing best practices for engaging employees.

The Importance of Effective Communication in Change Management

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Change is inevitable in any organization. Whether it be a minor adjustment or a major transformation, effectively managing change can make or break its success. One critical element in successfully navigating change is effective communication. Clear and consistent communication throughout the change process not only ensures that everyone is on the same page, but it also helps to alleviate resistance, engage employees, and ultimately drive the desired outcomes.

Clear communication is essential in change management as it helps employees understand the reasons behind the change and how it aligns with the organization’s goals and strategy. When employees have a clear understanding of the rationale and have their concerns addressed, they are more likely to embrace the change rather than resist it. In contrast, a lack of communication can lead to confusion, skepticism, and resistance, hindering the change process.

One case study that highlights the significance of clear communication in change management is the transformation of a large manufacturing company. The company decided to implement a new production system to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, when the change was announced, employees were skeptical and resistant. The management recognized the importance of communication and initiated a series of town hall meetings to explain the need for the change, how it would benefit the employees, and what support would be provided during the transition. As a result, employees felt heard, and their concerns were addressed. The clear and consistent communication helped to alleviate resistance, and employees became active participants in the change process.

Consistency in communication is equally crucial throughout the change process. When leaders communicate consistently, it creates a sense of trust and transparency. It reassures employees that they are receiving accurate and up-to-date information, which is crucial in building support and maintaining engagement. On the other hand, inconsistent communication can lead to confusion and frustration, eroding trust and undermining the change effort.

Another case study that highlights the significance of consistent communication is the rebranding of a global technology company. The company decided to rebrand to better reflect its evolution and vision for the future. The management recognized that consistent communication was essential in ensuring that employees understood the rebranding and felt included in the process. They established regular communication channels, such as newsletters, weekly updates, and virtual town hall meetings, to keep employees informed about the progress of the rebranding and to provide them with an opportunity to ask questions and share their feedback. The consistent communication not only helped to align employees with the new brand but also fostered a sense of ownership and pride in the organization.

To ensure effective communication in change management, organizations should adopt best practices that engage employees throughout the process. Firstly, leaders should be open and transparent about the reasons for the change and the expected outcomes. This creates trust and allows employees to understand the need for change. Secondly, organizations should provide ample opportunities for feedback and questions. This not only shows that their voices are being heard but also helps address any concerns or misconceptions. Thirdly, leaders should communicate consistently and through various channels to reach all employees effectively. Lastly, organizations should provide ongoing support and resources to aid employees in adapting to the change. This can include training programs, mentorship, and guidance to ensure a smooth transition.


Effective communication is paramount in change management. Clear and consistent communication helps employees understand the rationale behind the change, alleviates resistance, and fosters engagement. Through case studies, we have seen how clear and consistent communication played a vital role in successful change initiatives. By embracing best practices that engage employees throughout the change process, organizations can increase the likelihood of successful change implementation.

Image credit: Pexels

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Overcoming Resistance to Change

Offering Strategies and Techniques for Identifying and Addressing Resistance to Change, Ensuring Smoother Transitions

Overcoming Resistance to Change

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Change is inevitable in any organization, and yet many leaders find themselves battling resistance when attempting to implement new initiatives. Resistance to change stems from a variety of reasons, including fear of the unknown, lack of trust in leadership, and perceived threats to job security. However, with the right strategies and techniques, leaders can effectively identify and address resistance, leading to smoother transitions and increased organizational success. In this article, we will explore two case study examples to provide practical insights into overcoming resistance to change.

Case Study Example 1: The Sales Department’s Shift to Digital Platforms

In a mid-sized retail company, the sales department was reluctant to embrace digital platforms for customer engagement, despite the clear advantages it offered. Many sales representatives were comfortable with traditional methods and feared that digital adoption would render their roles obsolete. To address this resistance, the leadership implemented the following strategies:

1. Effective Communication: The first step was to communicate the benefits of digital platforms for both the company and sales representatives personally. Leaders explained how digital tools could enhance sales efficiency, generate more leads, and open doors to new markets. Additionally, interactive workshops were conducted to alleviate concerns and answer questions, creating a safe space for open dialogue.

2. Training and Support: Recognizing that resistance often stems from a lack of knowledge or skills, the company provided comprehensive training on digital tools. This training empowered sales representatives with the necessary skills to navigate the new platforms confidently. Ongoing support, including real-time troubleshooting and feedback sessions, further fostered a sense of security among the sales team.

As a result of these strategies, the sales department gradually embraced digital platforms, and their sales performance improved significantly. Representatives recognized the increased potential that digital tools offered, leading to a more harmonious transition and a boost in overall productivity.

Case Study Example 2: Restructuring for Agile Project Management

In a large software development company, a resistance to change emerged when transitioning from a traditional hierarchical management structure to a more agile project management approach. Some employees were skeptical, believing that the new structure would lead to increased workloads, decreased job security, and diminished autonomy. To overcome this resistance, the company employed the following strategies:

1. Empowering Leadership: To gain employee buy-in, the leadership openly communicated the reasons for the change, emphasizing the benefits of increased collaboration, faster response times, and greater innovation. Leaders ensured that team members felt involved by seeking their input and incorporating their ideas into the new structure. This approach helped build trust and alleviate concerns.

2. Pilot Projects: Instead of an immediate, company-wide implementation, the company initiated pilot projects in selected teams. This allowed small groups of employees to experience the benefits firsthand and share their success stories within the organization. By highlighting positive outcomes and lessons learned, the resistance began to diminish.

By effectively overcoming resistance through these strategies, the company successfully transitioned to the agile project management approach. Employees experienced increased job satisfaction, stronger teamwork, and the ability to adapt quickly to changing client needs. The organization as a whole became more responsive, competitive, and achieved higher client satisfaction rates.


Overcoming resistance to change requires proactive strategies to address the fears and concerns that accompany transitions. By implementing effective communication, training, support systems, empowering leadership, and pilot projects, organizations can achieve smoother transitions and garner employee support. The case study examples provided demonstrate the effectiveness of these strategies in tackling resistance to change. Leaders who implement these techniques will not only increase the likelihood of successful change implementation but also foster a culture of adaptability and growth within their organizations.

SPECIAL BONUS: Braden Kelley’s Problem Finding Canvas can be a super useful starting point for doing design thinking or human-centered design.

“The Problem Finding Canvas should help you investigate a handful of areas to explore, choose the one most important to you, extract all of the potential challenges and opportunities and choose one to prioritize.”

Image credit: Misterinnovation.com

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Crafting a Change Management Communication Plan

A Guide Featuring Relevant Case Studies

Crafting a Change Management Communication Plan

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Change management is a systematic approach designed for the transition of individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a future desired state. For any transitional process to be successful, stellar communication is crucial. This skill is even more vital when dealing with changes within an organization, making the need for a compelling change management communication plan a prime necessity.

Developing a robust change management communication plan can sometimes get quite complex, given the diverse organizational structures, numerous stakeholders, and interrelated business processes. Yet, armed with the right blueprint, the benefits are substantial and deeply impactful on the organization’s transition. The following discussion explores effective strategies for creating a communication plan for change management. To bring those strategies into context, two case study examples are also illustrated.

Case Study 1: Microsoft’s Transition to Cloud Computing

Perhaps one of the first significant changes organizations had to manage was the shift from traditional servers to cloud computing. Microsoft is a prime example of how a company strategically used change management to transition into a new era.

In 2010, Microsoft announced its shift to the cloud-first approach, a move that left not only its employees but also its massive customer base requiring serious convincing. It aimed to manage the transition smoothly and ensure it didn’t disrupt normal operations.

Microsoft used two primary communication strategies. First, they communicated why the change was necessary, emphasizing that delay would result in falling behind competitors. Secondly, they explicitly described what to expect from the change and how it would affect them.

The importance of effectively communicating the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of change cannot be overstated and must be engrained within any change management communication plan. Failure to do so would only lead to resistance and potential conflict.

Case Study 2: Adobe’s Shift to Subscription Model

Another excellent case study is Adobe’s transition from a licensing model to a cloud-based subscription model in 2013. Despite the move attracting significant backlash from users initially, Adobe managed to navigate this change remarkably well.

Adobe’s communication plan’s credibility was key to their success. They had to convince their user base that the transition was beneficial while addressing their uncertainties. Adobe effectively leveraged multiple communication channels – videos, blogs, user forums, press releases – to convey the pricing structure, advantages, and the overall rationale behind the transition.

Their transparency garnered user trust. Adobe emphasized the value they were providing and alleviated customer aversion to the change by clearly communicating.

Key Takeaways For Communication Plan

Learning from these successful change management examples, here are few steps you can implement in your communication plan:

1. Identify key stakeholders: Ensure you identify and understand all your stakeholders, anticipating their reactions, objections, and pain points to address them effectively.

2. Communicate early and often: The importance of beginning communication early cannot be overstated. Consistent, periodic communication reaffirms your messages, alleviates concerns, and mitigates potential resistance.

3. Deliver clear messages: Messaging must align with your change strategy. It should be clear, concise, and jargon-free. Also, be sure to communicate about the purpose, benefits, and impact of the change.

4. Engage all communication channels: The channels you choose to communicate changes influence the reception of your message. Consider a mix of presentations, newsletters, email digests, or webinars to communicate effectively.

5. Provide support and training: Allay stakeholder concerns by assuring support and training to facilitate a smooth transition. This further demonstrates your commitment to the change and the welfare of those affected.

Change does not occur in a vacuum. It is inextricably tied to people and processes. Thus, effective communication plans are crucial for successful change management. Crafting a change management communication plan with crucial input from all stakeholders is vital for the plan’s success, bolstering the acceptance and smooth transition during times of change.

Image credit: Misterinnovation.com

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Driving Cross-Functional Innovation

The Power of Collaboration

Driving Cross-Functional Innovation

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Collaboration is a key driver of innovation, enabling diverse teams to leverage their expertise, perspectives, and skills to solve complex problems. In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, cross-functional collaboration has become increasingly essential for businesses to stay competitive and drive meaningful change. This article explores the benefits of collaboration in fostering cross-functional innovation through two compelling case studies.

Case Study 1 – Pixar’s Creative Collaboration

Pixar, the renowned animation studio, is celebrated for its consistent delivery of groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films. One of the critical factors contributing to their success is their commitment to cross-functional collaboration. From directors to animators, writers, and technical experts, Pixar brings together diverse talents from different disciplines to create their films.

By fostering an environment of open communication and collaboration, Pixar teams challenge conventions and push boundaries. They encourage cross-pollination of ideas, creating an iterative process where different perspectives enrich the creative process. This cross-functional approach has led to numerous breakthroughs in storytelling, animation techniques, and technological advancements, enabling Pixar to create immersive and emotionally impactful films loved by audiences worldwide.

Case Study 2 – GE’s Global Research Collaboration

General Electric (GE), a multinational conglomerate, places a strong emphasis on collaboration as a catalyst for innovation. GE’s Global Research Center, one of the world’s most extensive and diverse industrial research organizations, brings together scientists, engineers, and experts from various disciplines.

By fostering cross-functional collaboration, GE harnesses the collective knowledge and expertise of its researchers. This collaborative environment has yielded groundbreaking innovations across industries, including advancements in renewable energy sources, healthcare technologies, aerospace, and more. GE’s collaboration efforts not only drive innovation but also contribute to addressing global challenges and improving the world we live in.

Benefits of Cross-Functional Collaboration:

1. Enhanced Problem-Solving: Cross-functional teams bring a range of perspectives and expertise to the table, enabling them to approach problems from different angles. This collaborative approach fosters innovative thinking and generates well-rounded solutions that address diverse needs.

2. Increased Creativity and Innovation: Collaboration sparks creativity by enabling the collision of ideas, encouraging out-of-the-box thinking, and challenging traditional paradigms. The synergy between team members from different backgrounds stimulates new perspectives and innovative solutions.

3. Improved Communication and Knowledge Sharing: Cross-functional collaboration facilitates open communication, breaking down silos and enabling the sharing of expertise and insights. This exchange of knowledge drives continuous learning, enabling teams to stay current with industry trends and leverage emerging opportunities.

4. Enhanced Decision Making: Collaboration encourages collective decision-making processes, leveraging diverse viewpoints and expertise. This approach leads to more informed and well-rounded decisions, reducing the risk of biases and improving overall organizational performance.


Cross-functional collaboration is a powerful tool for driving innovation and achieving organizational success. As demonstrated by the case studies of Pixar and GE, collaboration fosters creativity, problem-solving, knowledge sharing, and effective decision-making. By embracing and promoting cross-functional collaboration, businesses can harness the collective intelligence of their teams and unlock new avenues for growth, ensuring their continued relevance and competitiveness in an ever-evolving world.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What’s Your Innovation Story?

What's Your Innovation Story?

Many, but not all, innovations involve some kind of technology, and start as an invention. Many of these technology-based inventions that may eventually become innovations are created by startups, but many are created inside large companies as well. In both cases, these technology-based potential innovations are often created by engineers or technologists that are well-versed in the problems they are solving to make the technology work, but not always with the problems that the technology may solve for customers. Often the inventors speak the languages of science and technology, which is not always the same language as that understood by the potential customers for their invention that they hope will become an innovation.

As I wrote before in the always popular, and often linked and liked – Innovation is All About Value – there are three keys to achieving a successful transition from invention to innovation:

1. Value Creation

Value Creation is pretty self-explanatory. Your innovation investment must create novel or incremental value large enough to overcome the switching costs of moving to your new solution from the old solution (including the ‘Do Nothing Solution’). New value can be created by making something more efficient or effective, possible that wasn’t possible before, or by creating new psychological or emotional benefits. This creation of new value is what most people focus on, but you can’t achieve innovation without achieving success in the next two components as well.

2. Value Access

Value Access can also be thought of as friction reduction or experience design. How easy do you make it for customers and consumers to access the value you’ve created? How well has the product or service (or the experience of using it) been designed to allow people to access the value easily? How easy is it for the solution to be created? What is the employee experience like? How easy is it for people to do business with you?

These are some of the questions you must ask and answer as you seek to create success in the value access component of innovation.

3. Value Translation

Value Translation is all about helping people understand the value you’ve created and how it fits into their lives. Value translation is also about understanding where on a continuum your solution falls between the need for explanation and education. Incremental innovations can usually just be explained to people because they anchor to something they already understand, but radical or disruptive innovations inevitably require some level of education (often far in advance of the launch).

Done really well, value translation also helps to communicate how easy it will be for customers and consumers to exchange their old solution for the new solution.

Unfortunately, not all three parts of innovation success are equally understood or valued.

Most people understand that the creation of new value (aka value creation) is a key component of innovation success.

Many people understand the concept of barriers to adoption and that value access is thus also a key component to whether or not an invention successfully makes the transformation into an innovation.

BUT, few understand that value translation is probably the most critical component to innovation success. Because value translation inevitably requires both explanation AND education in varying amounts, having a good Evangelist (see The Nine Innovation Roles) that is a gifted storyteller on your innovation team will prove crucial to your innovation success. If people don’t understand how your new solution fits into their lives and why they should abandon their old solution, even if it is the ‘do nothing’ solution, then you stand no chance of your invention becoming an innovation.

And what’s the difference between an invention and an innovation? Wide adoption…

Achieving wide adoption comes not from some catchy advertising campaign, but from creating ridiculous amounts of value in the solution itself, the way that people access the solution (or the experience that they have), and in the story you create around it.

The Role of Experience in Your Innovation Story

Many true innovations create an experience that someone wasn’t able to have before, or take a painful experience and turn it into a delightful one. The automatic transmission liberated millions of people from the struggle of successfully starting a car on a hill and the worry of grinding their gears every time they go to shift gears.

How does using your potential innovation make people feel?

What is the experience like?

Where is the experience awkward or full of friction?

Could it be better?

Experience design has become increasing important because a good or bad user experience, customer experience, or employee experience creates stories, stories that get shared, stories that sometimes take on a life of their own. This is what happens when something goes viral. Sharing of the story itself becomes a new story, meaning that people are now sharing two stories (the original story, and a new story about the sharing of the original story). The power of these shared stories is why the various fields of experience design are growing both in terms of visibility and the numbers of people employed in these kinds of roles (customer experience, customer success, user experience, human-centered design, etc.).

When it comes to innovation, experience and design matter.

Bringing It All Together

Crafting a compelling innovation story requires both a compelling value proposition and a memorable experience. When you have both, your innovation story will be more engaging, easier to tell, and more likely to be shared.

Your innovation story also requires the same type of design thinking process to achieve. You must:

  1. Understand who your audience is
  2. Define what they will find convincing about the value proposition and the experience that your innovation will create
  3. Come up with ideas on how you will tell your innovation story (including the appropriate level of explanation vs. education)
  4. Choose one and prototype your innovation story
  5. Test it with people
  6. And iterate until you find that your innovation story (as well as your potential innovation) is resonating strongly with your target customers

So, plan ahead. Design your innovation story at the same time you’re designing a compelling innovation value proposition and innovation experience. Think about what people will say about your potential innovation as they begin using it. Show it to people and ask them for feedback about your potential innovation. Craft an explanation for it, build an education plan, and test both. Take all of what you learn from asking and testing these things to begin crafting your innovation story, while also refining the design of the product or service, and the experience of using it, to make both more compelling. In doing so, at the same time you’ll also make help your innovation story that much more powerful, and increase your chances of achieving innovation success!

If you need help telling your innovation story, I can help you on the tactical side (commissioned articles, white papers, webinars, collateral, keynotes, workshops, etc.) or by building you a complete innovation evangelism strategy (for an external audience, an internal one, or both). Click here to contact me.

This article originally appeared on CIO.com

Image credit: Dreamlightfugitive.wordpress.com

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Let’s Chat About the Language of Innovation

Let’s Chat About the Language of Innovation

Let’s Chat About the Language of Innovation

It was bound to happen sooner or later…

What is it you might ask?

Well, it is the recognition that the language we use (and more importantly, having a common language) when it comes to innovation, to change, or to pretty much any other aspect of business is just as important as it is in our personal lives.

Who does the recognition come from?

Well, none other than the innocats, a cool group of people who host a twitter chat at #innochat every Thursday at 5PM GMT (that’s 9AM for those of you on the west coast of the USA, Noon on the east coast, and well, 5PM for those of you in the UK).

Personally I tend to use Tweetchat.com to participate in twitter chats like this because it makes it easy to follow along real-time. If you go to the Tweetchat.com web site, just enter the hashtag #innochat as the room you’d like to enter.

So, come join me tomorrow (October 9, 2014) for an #innochat on the language of innovation. You can find the introductory post for the session here:

Sorry, link expired

UPDATE: Sorry, link to transcript expired

On that page you’ll also find links to my latest article on the topic and my latest white paper (commissioned by Planview).

If you’d like to commission a white paper, webinar, or keynote speech on innovation, social business, inbound/digital/content marketing or some other topic you think I can help people make sense of, contact me.

Otherwise, come join me for a lively Twitter discussion of the importance of a common language of innovation.

Oh, and if you’re curious what my current definition of innovation is, here you go:

“Innovation transforms the useful seeds of invention into widely adopted solutions valued above every existing alternative.” – Braden Kelley

Keep innovating!

Please note the following licensing terms for Stikkee Situations cartoons:

1. BLOGS – Link back to https://bradenkelley.com/category/stikkees/ and you can embed them for free
2. PRESENTATIONS, please send $25 to me on PayPal by clicking the button 3. NEWSLETTERS & WEB SITES, please send me $50 on PayPal by clicking the button
License for presentations - $25
License for newsletters and web sites - $50

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Social Media is the Glue of Innovation

Social Media is the Glue of InnovationSocial media serves an incredibly important role in innovation. Social media functions as the glue to stick together incomplete knowledge, incomplete ideas, incomplete teams, and incomplete skillsets. Social media is not some mysterious magic box. Ultimately it is a tool that serves to connect people and information.

I’m reminded of a set of lyrics from U2’s “The Fly”:

“Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief”

Social media can help ideas grow and thrive that would otherwise wither and die under the boot of the perfectionist in all of us.

Do you remember the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, it takes a village to create an innovation from an idea as well, and social media helps to aggregate and mobilize the people and knowledge necessary to do just that.

But, that is social media working in the positive. We must remember that social media tools are just that – tools.

Just as easily as social media tools can be an accelerator for innovation, they can also be an inhibitor – if the participants or the presenters manage to make the less active majority feel that innovation is not something for them.

If you don’t want to be a fool with a tool, then you must be careful to make sure that the social media tools in your organization are fulfilling their role in a positive way and leveraging existing knowledge management and collaboration toolsets:

  1. To make innovative ideas visible and accessible
  2. To allow people to have conversations
  3. To build community
  4. To facilitate information exchange
  5. To enable knowledge sharing
  6. To assist with expert location
  7. To power collaboration on idea evolution
  8. To help people educate themselves
  9. To connect people to others who share their passion
  10. To surface the insights and strategy that people should be building ideas from

The better you become at the above, the stronger your organization’s innovation capability will become, the more engaged your employees will become, and the more ready you will become to engage successfully in open innovation.

For the most part, what I’ve been talking about is the role of social media in innovation inside the organization. When you leverage social media for innovation outside the organization, it gets a whole lot more complicated.

But, maybe that’s a conversation for another day.

In the meantime, please consider the ways in which social media in your organization might be able to strengthen inter-disciplinary cooperation, make the organization itself more adaptable, and how it could help to create an organization with the power to transform more ideas into innovations.

You might also enjoy these four FREE white papers:

  1. Effective Conversational Marketing
  2. Rise of the Social Business Architect
  3. Harnessing the Global Talent Pool to Accelerate Innovation
  4. Broadcasting the Voice of the Customer

Build a Common Language of Innovation

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World’s Worst Logo?

World's Worst Logo? -  Definitely Needs Updating

Every time I see this logo I cringe.

If there is one logo in the world that is definitely in desperate need of updating, it is the logo of Sherwin Williams.

My stomach turns at the site of the earth dripping with paint and the slogan “Cover the Earth” only makes it worse.

Is there anyone out there that would actually like to see the earth covered in paint?

Especially paint that looks like blood?

Sherwin Williams, I implore you, please update your logo as soon as possible to reflect the changing world we live in, where people are concerned about toxicity and where sustainability and being green are increasingly important.

If you could do it before Earth Day on April 22, 2012 that would be even better.

You may not realize the negative logo your logo is having on your business because your stock price is moving up and to the right, but imagine how much better it might be doing if you updated your image to reflect your surroundings?

Come on Sherwin Williams, you can do it!

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Innovation or Invention? – Nokia’s Vibrating Tattoos

Innovation or Invention? - Nokia's Vibrating TattoosIt was recently discovered that Nokia Corp. has filed for a tattoo that would send “a perceivable impulse” to your skin whenever someone pings you on your phone, ensuring you may never miss another phone call, text or email alert again.

According to the patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, your phone would communicate with a magnetic tattoo you placed on your body. The phone would transmit magnetic waves that the tattoo could receive. When the waves hit the tattoo, you would feel something. Patent filings suggest that it would be possible to customize the physical response depending on who is calling.

In the patent filing, Nokia also proposes a slightly less invasive version of this technology, which would include a magnetic receiver that could be worn on the skin like a sticker and would vibrate when the phone rings.

So do you think this is destined to become an innovation or is it merely an interesting invention?

Nokia Vibrating Tattoo Patent

Personally, at this point I believe it is merely an interesting invention. I’m not sure something like this will reach the mass adoption necessary to turn it into an innovation. Plus, at this point it is only a patent application and the amount of work that would go into getting the cost down to where it would need to be and to build some kind of channel of distribution makes it likely that something like this would take years to develop, plan and launch.

It is however a brilliant public relations coup for a company that is struggling on the brink of becoming irrelevant as the advanced world moves quickly to adopt smartphones, a category where Nokia is struggling.

So, what do you think – invention or innovation?

Build a Common Language of Innovation

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