Henry Doss has recently published an article on Forbes entitled: “Innovation: Leadership is always the key”. He rightly says that if an organisation is struggling with innovation it might be focussing on systems and processes rather than on the development and nurturing of powerful individual leaders. Whereas I certainly agree that (mindful) leadership is a very important factor when creating and fostering a culture of innovation, I also believe that communication, especially internal communications and intercultural communications are key ingredients that cannot be missed out.
Why? Imagine how many different teams in diverse functions such as marketing, sales, research&development etc. have to work together to predict trends and think about new products/services that could succeed in their specific market(s). Without effective internal communications including discussions, feedback, questions and so on, an idea will never get through the funnel and be tested in the end.
Likewise, if the various team members are lacking intercultural communication skills, they will not only fail to identify how a specific customer need could be successfully met in their identified target market; they will also fail to communicate the creative input or idea to the respective teams and functions which very often are globally spread out and staffed with people from around the world. An idea needs clear communication and a tailored approach to market so that it can be successful and developed further by all relevant internal stakeholders.
Of course teams and organisations need visionary and powerful leaders who are able to put their ‘creative thinking cap’ on and translate sometimes vague and ‘fancy’ ideas into real products and services adapted to customer’s needs and markets. Nevertheless, in my experience, effective internal (intercultural) communications, mixed with a culture of trust and appreciation are really the “secret” ingredients for successful innovation.
Do you have any experience with innovation and what works/what doesn’t? Looking forward to reading/hearing about it!
Have an excellent weekend and please follow me per mail or in your WordPress reader to learn more on intercultural communications and mindful leadership! Jenny