Is Open Innovation the Future for All Companies?


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Paul Sloane recently asked this question in my 15inno LinkedIn group:

Is Open Innovation the future for all companies or is it so damned hard that only a few will have the resources and commitment to make it work?

I think this is an interesting question although I acknowledge it is a question that you cannot answer with a simple yes or no.

Personally, I do not think we will talk much about open innovation 5-7 years from now. This is not because I believe the idea of opening up the innovation process is wrong; on the contrary. What will happen is that the terms “open innovation” and “innovation” will merge leaving us with just “innovation” – but the meaning of this term will include a much higher external element than what see today.

As an answer to Paul’s question, I would say this development will happen in all industries and thus open innovation will definitely impact all industries.

Well, it is a great question for a discussion. Now, you have my starter and you can also see some comments from the LinkedIn discussion below.

What is your take on this?

Nathalie Picard: Paul, there are hundreds of ways to implement “open innovation,” from a simple diversification of sources of innovation to a complete dependence on external innovation. Most companies have recognized for years the value of external innovation and have already implemented “open innovation” to some extent. ?Open innovation has a lot of pros: It offers maximum flexibility, versatility, learning and networking opportunities,.. ?It also has some drawbacks. ?Is it the future for all companies? One size fits all is not the future. However, I believe each company will find its own way to implement and maximize the value of “open innovation.”

Cristiano Kruel: Paul, open innovation (OI) can be hard due our “current way of thinking and managing”. But OI alone is not the future. The future – seems to me – is something that OI is trying to show us all: “We will have to re-invent management, and that is going to be ugly!”

Clinton Bonner: I’d say OI is part of the future of most companies. What I see is our client’s bolstering their capabilities and being able to ramp up production on any given tech. platform without the need to re-train or hire. OI, through competitive development, is helping them work in a massively parallel fashion, and I think that’s the future of how a good majority of companies can embrace what it means to work in an OI fashion, without the need to try and build the necessary infrastructure and pro-community to do it. Now, are these companies culturally ready for this shift? Different discussion for sure.

Jason Husk: A corollary to your question, Paul: which is harder, expanding the c urrent organizational thinking to include OI as a way to increase speed and breadth of innovation, or keeping the status quo and becoming irrelevant as an organization (likely leading to the death of the organization)?

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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