Jos Tissen of Unilever, based in the Netherlands, and Shawn Heipp of Elmer’s Products, based in Ohio, USA, have something in common. Each manages his company’s corporate innovation portal, the website used to encourage technology solution submissions from external customers, suppliers, inventors, and businesses. Tissen and Heipp describe their unique portal implementation choices and their results to date.
The products and services we use are developing in two seemingly opposite directions: We want customized and localized solution – but they should fit into a global network of services and brands. A business model to meet this paradox is to create global platforms that enable a large number of actors to create very local and personalized solutions.
As part of the Open Innovation movement, many companies now actively solicit technical solutions, products and business ideas from innovators, customers, suppliers, and the broader marketplace of technology providers. Some companies have begun utilizing structured innovation submission programs, typically implemented through their corporate websites. This article, the first in a two-part series, helps companies understand Collaborative vs. Direct Portals, and the importance of IP-anti-contamination and efficient filtering in choosing the best innovation portals for their unique situations.
Organizations increasingly seek new forms of innovation—and, for themselves, transformation—by engaging in co-creation with the suppliers, clients, and consumers that comprise their value streams. What insights might be gained from organizations that have begun to realize their potential for leadership by embracing openness as a core element of their charter? In this article innovation architect Doug Collins reflects on the progress that the Beijing Genomics Institute (B.G.I.) has made on this front. What lessons does B.G.I. have to teach organizations that decide to paddle with the Digital Age currents as opposed to against them?
Over the last 5 years, Open Innovation has been evolving quite a lot in the ways it can be defined and implemented. Rather than proposing one more definition or describe one specific way to approach it, here is a set of trends I foresee based on the numbers of projects I have been involved in and the evolution of needs from organizations, would they be major corporations, SMEs or Public Services.
Nowadays, firms simultaneously include a higher variety of different stakeholders than ever before in their innovation process. Such a diverse collective brings in different perspectives and competences, yet, also poses new challenges for firms. This article presents insight into the capabilities required for a leading firm in a stakeholder co-creation project, acting as a conductor of an orchestra of stakeholders.
The business world is very rational. Operational excellence, financial mastery and technology savviness have become pre-requisite not to stand out as a winner but to be allowed to compete. While a hard-nosed business mind is essential to cope with the increased pressure of globalized competition, it is creativity, in the form of innovation and the ability to implement it rapidly that is fast becoming the most treasured competitive asset. Companies need to innovate in a fast yet relevant manner in order to remain competitive today and develop the game changers that will allow them to remain competitive in the future.
While the previous two methods – Netnography and Social Media Solution Scouting – outline the potential of passive methods in using the power of social media for innovation, the next two approaches enable companies to interact with consumers. Configuration Tools as well as Innovation Contests invite users outside the company’s four walls to become an active part of new product development. In part two of this article you will learn how Audi and Henkel empowered the crowd and turned them into co-producers.
Open innovation has found its way into companies’ innovation processes and is a widely used approach to spur collaborative innovation with consumers. A multitude of methods and tools have come into being, creating confusion about how to make the most out of users’ knowledge and creativity. This article provides innovation managers with insights into four popular open innovation practices at four German blue chips and contrasts the various approaches.
Media firms such as the BBC, HBO, and Corbus, along with brand-drive organizations such as Visa and the Estee Lauder Companies, hire people to manage their digital assets. Digital assets include content such as television shows, movies, photographs, and advertisements. Viewers and consumers create their own content, too, in response to shows and brands. Co-creation introduces new challenges for digital asset managers, including deciding what content to manage. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores possibilities for digital asset managers to apply the practice of collaborative innovation to help them do their own work more effectively.
One of the most obvious benefits of crowdsourcing is its ability to stimulate creativity and accelerate innovation on a global scale. Leading companies such as Dell, Starbucks or Frito-Lay have pioneered this trend by building platforms (respectively IdeaStorm, MyStarbucksIdea and Doritos Crash The SuperBowl) that connect them to a crowd of passionate individuals. These success-stories paint a very positive picture of crowdsourcing, but the reality is that connecting with the crowd is not as easy as it seems. In this post, we will present the advantages and drawbacks of using crowdsourcing to source creative ideas, and explain how specialized intermediaries can help companies by providing crowds, platforms and experience.
The Digital Age disrupts the practices and beliefs that gird the archetypical relationship between advertising agency and client. The Procter & Gamble Companies discarded a relic of the client-agency relationship, the creative brief. They seek more authentic engagement that leads to more compelling campaigns. What possibilities do clients open when they move from exchanging information to engaging in co-creation? What role might the practice of collaborative innovation play in redefining roles between client and agency?
We prize our time. People who practice collaborative innovation know they cannot monopolize the waking hours of their sponsors and communities. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores the three C’s of critical question, community, and commitment. Practitioners raise the odds that everyone involved in collaborative innovation will view their time as well spent when they help sponsors address the three C's in authentic ways.
Whenever customers are not getting what they need, business opportunities are opened. When properly implemented, mass customization has the potential to provide a long lasting competitive advantage through better, more adapted products and services that can be sold at premium prices. This final article in the Customization500 series sums up the conclusions and key learnings.
While compiling data for the Customization500 study over a period of 12 months, the researchers noticed that roughly 20% of the companies went out of business during this time. In part 7 of this series, we take a closer look at the reasons why both startups and established companies fail at implementing mass customization and in what areas managers can expect the strongest resistance.