Change is frightening to many elements inside the typical organization. Change threatens people’s power, their status, their egos, and, in some situations, even their jobs. Change can make someone’s expertise obsolete and thereby make them obsolete as well. Because people are afraid of change, innovation efforts often cause the eruption of corporate antibodies that fight to kill innovation and maintain the status quo.
Given the difficulties in developing and working with metrics and measures for open innovation and ecosystems, I have pulled together some inspiration and insights from several articles.
Getting started with open innovation and developing the right foundation for open innovation has been a key challenge at many companies in the last three to five years. Now, internal as well as external forces are moving these companies towards the next level of open innovation in which we go beyond just products and technology and start to explore how a more open and collaborative mindset can be applied to all more business units and functions. Think procurement and engineering as examples.
LEGO has earned the right to celebrate. Not only are kids playing with more mini LEGO people than there are human beings on the planet (Delingpole J, 2009) but in 2015, they were nominated by Forbes as the most powerful brand in the world. For a company which was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2004, the toy maker has made an amazing turnaround. They restructured, hired a new CEO, and forged more licensing partnerships than ever before. Most importantly, they discovered the secret to some of the world’s most successful, low risk innovation strategies.
Educational institutions have the reputation of being slow-moving behemoths, but this label is undeserved. According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the educational sector worldwide is more innovative than it gets credit for.
At IdeaScale, we define prolific innovators as organizations that have moved more than half of their ideas to the final stage. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every suggested idea became a value-generating, implemented reality. This means that the completed ideas had each been investigated, responded to, and a decision was made to move forward or not. But of course, at least a portion of those completed ideas generate measurable constructive outcomes.
Let me see if this situation sounds familiar: you’ve promised your boss that you’ll generate at least one percent growth over last year. You’ve been racking your brain with ideas about how to improve your product or develop a new offering or finding new efficiencies which will help your margins, but the few ideas that you’ve come up with haven’t had legs and pages keep coming off the calendar.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, research and development was a highly guarded and elite practice. Imagine laboratories peopled by white-coated scientists who had passwords to protect the doors to their office. This kind of research and innovation was highly successful for a long time – it gave us electrocardiography, DNA fingerprinting, and many Apple products.
Untapping Hidden Value: A New Partnership Model for Corporate Knowledge Management and Innovation Functions
In the current business environment, defined by some as the ‘Knowledge Age’, leadership interest is increasingly focused on Innovation and Knowledge Management development efforts. To date, these functions often operate along parallel, yet discrete, paths. As organizations seek new areas of growth, while further cutting costs there is an increasing need to build more effective partnerships in order to ensure ongoing success and drive additional business value.
There are four different types of innovation tools that we’ll describe here, including the design of the work place itself, practices that encourage and even enable effective collaboration, open innovation approach to connect inside innovation teams with outside partners and experts, and online tools that constitute the virtual work place. Separately and especially together, these can make a tremendous enhancement in the performance and the satisfaction of individuals, teams, and your entire organization.
One of the most critical professional challenges that employees face today is being able to successfully manage positive change within their organization. Innovation has become a watch word, with so many divisions not being able to find enough valuable ideas and then successfully manage those ideas into a commercial offering that sometimes companies even respond to customer tickets and bugs and simply label those results as “innovation.”
Before any organization can reap the economic benefits of open innovation, it must overcome a number of legal, operational and cultural challenges. In this article Peter von Dyck addresses the top three obstacles to open innovation: managing intellectual property issues and other legal risks, processing ideas quickly and establishing an efficient internal structure.
Innovation portals have taken an important place in the open innovation landscape. Expectations are great in portal performance but often, for purely budgetary reasons, these portals are launched and managed internally by corporates themselves, to discover that they generate a number of community management issues that they are not used to coping with. Prior to launching a corporate portal it is a good idea to ask a few specific questions on whether to do this internally or through experienced third party innovation providers. Using external resources can often avoid pitfalls and align the portal success rate to corporate expectations, objectives and ambitions. Here six questions are asked that can help you take the decision whether to launch a managed portal internally or externally.
As business leaders seek additional impact from Innovation Programs, new ways to leverage and scale existing resources are being explored. One approach is to link externally sourced ideas with networks of innovation-minded employees, to generate additional business impact.
For the companies which have embraced the crowdsourcing mindset in their business processes, the motive is more than just outsourcing. It's about better collaboration, better innovation outcomes and ultimately superior value. But like many other new business models, some fail and some succeed in accomplishing this mission.