Today’s strongest companies combine innovation and collaboration to change their industries and grow their businesses. And managers know that the best ideas, whether for a new product or service or the solution to a longstanding consumer problem, often come from people who know your company best — your employees.

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But if these ideas aren’t shared, or aren’t acted on by the company, they lose their value. Inspiring innovation and harnessing collaboration are the strengths of connected companies. These are companies where people are closer, teamwork is faster, and culture is stronger — and the result is a powerful advantage over competitors.

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If ideas aren’t shared or aren’t acted on by the company, they lose their value

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Bart Zuidgeest CEO @ NextNovate

1. Reducing silos opens up innovation

As companies become more digitally integrated, and new generations enter the workforce, the expectations of work have shifted. Employees today work in many kinds of settings, from traditional offices to telecommuter roles, and on many different projects at once. Connected companies use platforms that actively encourage communications and knowledge-sharing between these groups — and by reducing the silos placed around employees and work groups, they encourage more cross-pollination and collaboration.

 

2. Innovation from anywhere

Connected companies understand that an idea to improve the company can come from anywhere, and are poised to act on it. They use platforms that feature open, searchable discussion threads to share information. They encourage ongoing two-way communication between work groups, not weekly status updates. And they have systems to join these conversations and put the best ideas into action. The most connected companies report a 32% increase in product innovation.

 

3. Connection inspires productivity

When a company is fully connected, the very act of open communication creates efficiencies elsewhere. It reduces the need for meetings, check-in calls or status documentation, or the lost time spent trying to reach coworkers by phone or email. Connected companies translate both innovative new ideas and new efficiencies to realize better business outcomes. At connected companies, it’s faster and simpler to take an idea from creation to production and into the marketplace. This growth is helped, empowered and celebrated by the entire organization — a powerful marker of a connected company.