Within larger organizations one of
the biggest obstacles to
innovation is poor
communication. A silo mentality develops so that departments
guard information and ideas rather than share them. People work
hard – but in isolated groups. Internal politics can compound
the problem with rivalry and turf wars obstructing
collaboration. It can reach the ridiculous stage where the enemy
is seen as another department inside rather than the competitors
organization has to find ways to
promote internal communication and collaboration and to fight
internal division and competition.
The corporate leader
has to tear down the
internal fences, punish internal politics and
This sometimes calls for
drastic or innovative actions.
Case in Point
Nokia has an informal rule that no one should
eat lunch at their desk or go out for lunch. People are encouraged to eat in
the subsidized cafeterias and to mix with people from outside their
department. They have found that the informal meetings across departments
are beneficial in sharing
ideas and understanding.
It is natural for departments in organizations
to become more insular. As the organization grows, good internal
communication becomes more and more difficult.
There was a saying in
Hewlett Packard: “If only HP knew what HP knows!” Very often the
skills needed to solve your problem exist elsewhere in the company.
Knowledge sharing and collaboration are essential for innovation success. A
key responsibility of the
innovative leader is to constantly fight the
silting up of the internal communications and to force contact and sharing