How Can we Communicate Innovation?

Ideas, Innovation, and Communication

We live in an age of constant change and accelerated innovation in every field, from medicine to education to food production. As Oren Berkovich, CEO of SingularityU Canada says, “We are at the intersection where opportunity meets capability.” Major breakthroughs are happening daily along with price compression, broadening this “intersection”. But there is still a vital gap that needs to be bridged. The critical factor that underlies every successful innovation: communication.

As innovations progress and become more technically complex, and increasingly difficult to explain, it’s more important than ever for innovative concepts to be communicated, explained, and understood. Without this translation, new ideas and approaches will never be adopted.

I’ve had the privilege of working with many accomplished people in the science and technology fields and I am optimistic and excited about the advances that are being made. In my experience, the challenge is that many people spearheading these technical and scientific advancements are so close to the intricate details of their work that they communicate with industry-specific language that doesn’t fully convey the potential of their breakthroughs.

Scientists, academics, technologists who develop something new through their questioning, discoveries, and research often only communicate those discoveries within their own ecosystem, to colleagues and peers within their own industries. When they do share this work outside their sphere, they are often too close to their subject matter to create clarity for a general audience. If those ideas and innovations are not communicated outside of their immediate sphere, and clearly, to a wider audience, they become a missed opportunity for us to understand, share, and to engage with.

We are at a crossroads where technology has advanced so much that we haven’t had the capacity or ability to absorb all of it. People have specialties, and subspecialties, that you haven’t even heard of! And unless you are researching scientific journals online daily, you aren’t aware of all the new discoveries.

Every meaningful element of human progress has happened only because humans have shared ideas with each other and then collaborated to turn those ideas into reality. From the first time our ancestors teamed up to take down a mammoth to Neil Armstrong’s first step onto the moon, people have turned spoken words into astonishing shared achievements. – Chris Anderson, TED Curator

There’s no question that communicating about innovation is a challenge, and that it’s the critical part of sparking change. So how can we communicate innovation? What can we do about it?

A great innovation that doesn’t tell a story is a lost opportunity.

To explain a particular innovation, we need to clearly define what it is, and bridge gaps in understanding through the use of story and emotional language. We need to inspire people to have a conversation, learn, explore, and take action. That’s the point at which innovation takes off, and starts changing the world.

Talk Boutique helps people to communicate innovation in a way that makes sense to wide audiences and includes them in the conversation. We work with innovators at the University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design, MaRS, and Deloitte, helping them communicate what they’re working on, and engaging their audiences on why that work is important.

Whether it’s new medical devices, a new way of overcoming disabilities, or an idea that can change the world, we coach clients to make a connection by moving beyond the “what” and get them talking about the “how” and ‘why’ of their breakthrough. We do this by helping them craft a story that will be remembered and that will ignite conversation.

If you need help clarifying your message and your content, our proprietary Talk Canvas™, and proven coaching system will help you to clarify your message and get the word out.

Robotics, regenerative medicine, AI, or blockchain, to name a few – these are all concepts difficult for people who are not involved in the research, or in the wider industry, to understand. It’s vital for us to be able to communicate what they mean to the world, and what new opportunities now exist because of them for these concepts to become truly disruptive and make the world a better place.

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