Who should drive innovation in organisations? Everyone, really, right? If you’re wondering how you, as a communicator, can contribute to more innovation, here are some tips. We have also put together 15 concrete ideas for more innovation that you can use to strengthen your company’s innovative power. 

1. Providing information

For ideas to emerge, leaders and employees need clarity about the framework. Internal communication can answer key questions about the innovation strategy and the innovation process: What is our innovation strategy and how can/should I contribute? Which ideas are welcome? What innovations are we already working on?


  • Launch the innovation strategy: Communicate the innovation strategy internally – with interactive events for leaders and an unusual format for all teams, such as an innovation box.
  • Set up an innovation landing page: Create a central page on the intranet that links all innovation information.
  • Report regularly on innovation: Internal reports on innovation and, more importantly, on the path to innovation, create a clear picture of what innovations are desired and how the innovation process is structured.

2. Enabling discussion and participation

Innovation is a collaborative effort. A new product, service or process innovation is created from an idea through discussion, enrichment, discarding and combining. Internal communication can contribute to this by creating spaces for discussion and opportunities for open exchange – beyond the research and development teams.


  • Introduce a ‘work in progress’ series: In a regular event format, teams present the current status of innovation projects. Questions and discussions are strongly encouraged!
  • Organise an innovation marketplace: The proven marketplace format provides a low-threshold opportunity for employees to learn about and discuss innovation projects
  • Plan an innovation day: The marketplace format can be expanded into an innovation day – for example, with expert presentations, workshops or panel discussions.

3. Fostering innovation networks and communities

The development of networks and communities should be planned and driven by innovation management. Internal communication can support and create the conditions for networking in various forms.


  • Feature innovators: Introduce internal innovators in a series of portraits on the intranet or in the employee magazine. This also shows that the company recognises their commitment to innovation. Alternatively, interview the innovators as part of an online event or podcast.
  • Hold themed events and set up forums: Invite experts to specialist events on the topic. Present the results in a forum (e.g. on the intranet). The topic can then be further discussed and developed.
  • Initiate coffee meetings: Good ideas used to be born around the coffee machine. But what do you do when most people work from home? Develop a coffee date format where two or more people from different departments get to know each other over a virtual coffee.

4. Supporting an innovation culture

Depending on the current and desired culture of innovation, internal communication can support cultural change – for example, more cross-departmental exchange in silo organisations, more structure in chaotic companies, or more cross-hierarchical interaction in patriarchal cultures.


  • Launch an innovation award: Awards are a proven format for expressing appreciation. Winning projects also show what innovations are desired. Awards can also be used to recognise culturally desirable behaviour.
  • Publish executive interviews and quotes: Interviews or quotes in internal media are a good way for management to articulate the desired culture. It is important that the day-to-day behaviour of top executives is consistent with the statements.
  • Develop innovative forms of communication: Do you want more openness to new things in the company, a better culture of allowing mistakes to happen and the courage to experiment?
  • Start with internal communication! Try new formats such as fuck-up nights or ask-me-anything (if this is still innovative for your company). Declare it an experiment, ask the participants for their opinion afterwards and develop the format further – this is how communication innovation happens.

5. Accompanying change

Innovations are new and fraught with conflict. They often mean change for leaders and employees – they are not just opportunities, they are change. Especially when new behaviours are required, but also when perceived negative effects threaten: accompany change in the company with professional communication!


  • Stakeholder analysis: Is it clear to everyone what the innovation means for each stakeholder? If not: Conduct a thorough stakeholder analysis to lay the groundwork for successful change.
  • Turn those affected into participants: Don’t just communicate changes, make sure that the groups affected can help shape them.
  • Support change processes transparently: Report in the internal media not only when the project is completed – but before, during and after. Show the process and explain why things are happening.

How can you start?

1. Take stock

What internal media do you have? What formats can you use to distribute information? What topics do you have? What human and financial resources can you devote to communication?

2. Define your communication objectives and target groups

Think about what you want to achieve with your innovation communication. What do you want managers and employees to think or do? Can you make these objectives measurable?

3. Identify the gaps

Compare your current situation with your objectives: What is still missing to get from one to the other? You can then draw up an action plan. Focus on the communication activities that will give you the most benefit for the least effort.

4. Get partners on board

Seek discussions with internal and external partners. Internally, these could be, for example, innovation management, research and development, human resources marketing or communication and marketing departments. External agencies can support you in the design and implementation of innovation communication.


Are you missing the right agency? Then give us a call, write to us on LinkedIn or email us to find out what we can do for you.

*Photo Getty Images/Unsplash


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