Executives Just Don’t Get Open Innovation


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The response I got, when I asked George Buckley, former CEO at 3M about his views on open innovation was disappointing.

As you can see in the short video clip below, Buckley equated open innovation with the hiring of more external people and buying companies with technologies or other assets that 3M needed.

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This is not open innovation and even though 3M is perceived as a closed company in many ways, I find it a bit scary that Buckley mentioned these “examples” of open innovation.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the views of Buckley are so different than those of many other top executives. They really talk a lot about (open) innovation, but too often they do not walk the walk and a key reason is that they simply don’t get it.

I guesstimate that only 10-15% of the top executives in large multinational companies has the mindset and skillset needed to drive truly lead innovation in their companies. The only good thing is that we can expect this to improve quite much in the next decade as younger and better trained (in terms of innovation) executives reach the top levels of management.

As a closing remark, I would like to send a positive note to Buckley. He really presented some good views on innovation management in general during a talk at the Front End of Innovation conference as you can see in this post: Great Executive Quotes on Innovation – Insights from 3M.

…but notice the absence of open innovation in his comments.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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