Research: Innovation Communication Breakdowns

Research: Innovation Communication BreakdownsIn my last post, I introduced the key theme of my latest IX Research report: that most companies lack a common language of innovation, which hinders peoples’ ability to communicate effectively about innovation. But just how common are these innovation communication breakdowns?

Innovation Communication Breakdowns are Common and Frequent

According to a survey of our global innovation panel, two out of three innovation practitioners (67%) report having had difficulty communicating internally about innovation within the past year. (Source: IX Research Survey, 3Q 2013.) That on its face is a problem that should prompt action, since these innovation practitioners are most directly involved in the innovation process. However, this data likely understates the problem, because it only counts the communication issues the innovation practitioner is aware of. In all likelihood, there are more innovation communication issues happening between individuals elsewhere in the organization that do not involve the practitioners.

That’s bad, but it gets worse. It turns out that for most of these people, communication problems with regard to innovation occur on a regular basis. Eighty-nine percent (89%) report having communications issues at least once a quarter. As shown in the figure below, nearly half (45%) experience these difficulties on a monthly basis, and 16% do so weekly!

Figure: Most Innovation Practitioners Have Difficulty Communicating About Innovation on a Regular Basis

Most innovation practitioners have difficulty communicating about innovation regularlySource: IX Research Survey, 3Q 2013.

The importance of a common language of innovation increases as companies focus more attention and resources on innovation. Innovation is hard enough on its own. Companies don’t need to stand idly by and let unnecessary barriers fueled by poor communication undermine their innovation efforts.

In my next post about our research into the importance of creating a companywide language of innovation, I’ll address the types of disruption (i.e., the bad kind of disruption) these communication breakdowns have on the innovation process.

Interested in getting an excerpt of this report for free?

Just sign up for the IX Research Panel by March 9, as I’ll be sending one out to all members on March 10.

If you want access to the full report today, simply visit the IX Research page and subscribe. Your 12-month subscription will give you access to this report, all future reports from IX Research, as well as our previously published report, “Success Practices in Co-Creation.”

image credit: io9.com

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Announcing IX Research: Research for Innovation PractitionersDoug Williams, Chief Research Officer and Principal Analyst, leads the development of IX Research. Doug is the primary author of IX Research‘s syndicated research reports, and is responsible for the development of the IX Research Panel and IX Custom Research lines of business. A former analyst at both Forrester Research and JupiterResearch, he launched and led Forrester’s innovation and co-creation practice for product strategy professionals. He authored 36 highly rated Forrester Research reports on innovation, open innovation, and co-creation, and was the primary author and developer of Forrester’s Open Innovation playbook. Doug tweets from @DougWilliamsMHD.

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