The Best Ways to Communicate Innovation Activities?

July 20, 2018

During a recent in-person briefing at IL headquarters in Boston, a member of the InnoLead community asked the following question:

“We find it hard to get the attention of our colleagues when it comes to sharing what the innovation program is trying to achieve — and how they can get involved. What are some of the most effective ways to communicate what the innovation team is up to?”

See below for a collection of advice and answers to this question.

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Board games: Why insurance firm Assurant designed a strategy game for employees to play

Videos: How EMC reignited its innovation program

Videos: How a video series is spreading innovation at Thomson Reuters

Videos: AECOM shares an innovation video it uses with new hires

Comic book: Why Lowe’s Innovation Lab hired sci-fi writers to guide its strategy

Annual Report: The Innovation Acceleration Program at Boston Children’s Hospital

Naomi Fried explains: “The biggest challenge of stepping into this role was getting people’s attention, and getting them interested in innovation. I had support from senior leadership in putting me in front of the right people, at the right gatherings. In the absence of that, it’d be really hard to create a program that affects the whole hospital, if you don’t have a way to get the message out there. Getting in front of people at meetings they have are already going to is a great way to connect. You can’t rely on posters and signs.”

Keychain: How Fidelity Investments Used a Key Ring to Capture Project Learnings

What happens after you run the debrief on a project you’ve completed? Often, there’s a whiteboard full of learnings, or a few documents stashed away in a directory somewhere. Usually, only the most dedicated information archaeologist can unearth them a year or two later.

Tips: Communicating Innovation at Bloomberg

How do you make sure that innovation activity and achievements don’t get lost in the noise of the day-to-day?

That’s a big part of Chaim Haas’ role as Head of Innovation Communication at the privately held finance, media, and technology company Bloomberg. Bloomberg is one of many large companies that have significant investments in engineering and product development, but haven’t always showcased that work to the rest of the organization — or to external stakeholders.