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The Language of Innovation – Tricky, but Important Issue

January 8, 2014 15inno 1 Comment

I just read a good blog post by Jeffrey Phillips on Why Innovation Needs Its Own Language.

In particular, I like this overview of challenges and questions related to the language of innovation:

“Any organization that hopes to innovate consistently and well has the following challenges with language and context that it must address in order to work more successfully:

• Lack of shared meaning
• Lack of systemic context
• No clear linkage to strategy or goals
• Ideas no longer hold their original meanings or the culture rejects their meaning
• Language limits or narrows discussion or thinking rather than encouraging and broadening it
• Words become filler or placeholders, not meant to encourage thinking or action

What is your innovation language? Do the words you use have shared meaning? Do they work within a common context?”

I have written extensively on the topics of language, definition and communication in the context of innovation on 15inno.com. The short recap is that I do not believe in one universal definition of innovation. I believe companies need to develop their own definition and language around innovation in a way that fits their situation and context. They need to do so in order to get their employees as well as their external innovation partners on the same page.

Here you get a list of some of my blog posts:

What is Innovation? (It’s Not Creativity)

Communication is Key to Successful Open Innovation

Open Innovation, Closed Innovation and Related Terms

Open Innovation Definitions: A View from Clorox

What Exactly Do We Mean by Open Innovation?

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. filibertoamati says:

    There is a great article by Prof. Rao on the Lingua Franca of Innovation (http://www.ieseinsight.com/doc.aspx?id=1388&ar=9), in which the author explains how a common innovation language is a necessary condition to innovation happening within an organization. Moreover the lingua franca can be only achieved once we have rid the organization of innovation myths

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