Innovation Teams Need Clarity

Create a strong connection between your growth initiatives and your brand strategy.

March 7, 2011

Innovative ideas, initiatives, products, and culture transformations have little chance to succeed without smart communications, says marketing executive Georgia Everse, writing in a Harvard Business Review blog.

Here are eight traps to avoid:

1. Don’t break ground in the wrong direction. If your organization hasn’t explicitly communicated your core reason for being, you’ll need to start here. Your innovation teams need this level of clarity to guide their efforts and thinking.

2. Don’t lose sight of the horizon. The complexity and uncertainty of forging new ground makes it easy to get lost. Make thinking visible to help teams stay on track and reinforce their goals.

3. Don’t make the process a mystery. Successful initiatives are supported by a well-defined process, which should become the foundation for successful internal communication.

4. Don’t undercommunicate. New projects must be accepted into the operations side of the business. This hand-off often fails because general management, human resources, marketing, communications, and sales teams haven’t been informed along the way.

5. Don’t let cynicism undermine the process. Taking your credit union into new territory of any kind never comes without some healthy scepticism from your positive team players and cynicism from your naysayers.

6. Don’t let key insights hide in a binder. The best ideas are born out of a discovery process that unveils insights into the behaviour patterns of people.

7. Don’t let jargon hide the truth. In most organizations different functional groups use their own languages. Recognize the power of words in getting the development team aligned and achieving the positive results you hope for.

8. If it’s off-brand, don’t do it. There should be a strong connection between your growth initiatives and your brand strategy. The two should inform and sustain each other.