So you have installed innovation management software, but now what? What you need now is a communications plan. But what is that?
What Is Communication?
Everybody thinks they know what communication is, but it is actually an incredibly broad concept that different people define in different way. It is sending out electronic messages, it is talking face to face, it is nonverbal communication, it is relationships with management and colleagues, it is how things are worded, and much, much more! In fact, communication is any way in which information is conveyed.
How to Maintain Communication
You must understand that communication is a two-way streak. It has to be completely clear, because the smallest mistake in communication means that the messages doesn’t come across properly. Getting this wrong has been the downfall of many businesses and relationships. In fact, at the heart of every relationship, be that professional or personal, lies good communication. It has to be clear at every step of the way.
Communication Plans and Idea Management
So how does all this relate to idea management? In fact, communication and innovation go hand in hand. If you have a communication plan in place, your initiatives for idea management are more likely to be successful. What you are asking, after all, is for your stakeholders to communicate with you about ideas that they have. They, in turn, expect you to communicate with them about the developments of their ideas.
You need to make sure that clear communication is used every step of the way, from choosing the software to installing it, and from picking out ideas to implementing them. It is through communication that you can evaluate, that you can interpret, and that you can understand. If you have a clear communication plan in place, everybody will be signing from the same hymn sheet. And as an added benefit, this means everybody is more likely to communicate in the same way with external stakeholders as well.
There is also the external element: a good communication plan helps you to determine how you will communicate with your external audience, as well as helping you to measure how they respond to you. In fact, it will even help you to determine whether you are using the right communication channels.
Creating a Communication Plan
So, if you have chosen your idea management software, and you are ready to write your communications plan, these are a few things to remember:
- Make sure that there are clear goals and objectives in terms of communication.
- Find out who your audience is, and who will communicate to them.
- Have a plan in place to make sure you use channels of communication that paint your company off in a good light.
- Decide how often you have to communicate and with whom.
- Appoint people at every level responsible for communication.
Creating a communication plan is a lot of hard work, and you may feel like rushing it because you want to get going with your innovation software. However, getting this right will make your other efforts far more successful as well.