As innovation changes from a hard to a softer kind of process, so the language must change to reflect this. We need a new Language of Innovation. Below are a list of terms that we commonly use in our project teams or businesses together with a new vocabulary that we should all be coming to terms with.
As projects become more transformational than transactional we need to be talking about creating a purpose not simply pitching an idea.
Many of us visualise the outcome but it needs to be vocalised also. We all respond to different stimuli so the desired outcome needs to be represented in as many ways as possible to engage the whole project team.
When you are building something new and exciting then call your team something exciting. They are all creators in their own specialist fields.
Demands very seldom work as intended. Create a dream and encourage others to buy in and follow it with you.
We all worry about the content of specifications and requirements documents. Consider the consequences of every action you take. Does it enhance the clients experience, does it add comfort, safety or fun?
Instead of a cumbersome plan, create a story and storyboard to engage the team and encourage their contributions.
Your project needs to be run along business lines so run it like a business with your client as the major shareholder.
In line with the previous point, your management team are in fact a board.
Avoid these like the plague. If you must group people, do it according to the tasks that they are carrying out.
Abolish this, talking is all important to share knowledge and break down barriers. If you use technical terms, ensure they are understood by everyone.
Treat communications as if you were campaigning, make sure that everyone is convinced and understands the complex ideas that you are trying to get across.
Don’t dwell on accomplishing things. You have a dream to follow but remember if you are innovating then there will be some failures to learn from. Not accomplishing is not a disaster, you are undertaking an adventure.
These are damaging in large numbers. Encourage people to ask for advice or direction, not just question everything.
Doing should be replaced by learning. This way you have both action and the acquisition of knowledge.
Do not think linearly. You will be embarking on a journey and the path may twist and turn on the way.
If you are innovating you will be entering into uncharted territory on some occasions. Research cannot help you. Intuition must become part of your vocabulary.
Replace this with guidance, talking and a little intuition. No rigid procedures here!
A visitor could be a guest, but don’t take this too far.
If you take the time to create messages then you want them to be remembered so focus on creating memories, a subtle but helpful distinction.
We often present our ideas and plans to people but in a collaborative environment, we should be colluding or conspiring with all of our stakeholders.
If you are keeping records, make it interesting, richer and full of knowledge. The record of your journey through your innovation project is Your Story.