The Business Impact of Open Innovation: Insights from Clorox


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Clorox is one of the leading practitioners of open innovation. Not many people really know this, but it becomes obvious, when you interact with Clorox people and listen to their presentations.

Navin Kunde, Business Networks Leader at Clorox, recently gave a great presentation at the Open Innovation Summit in Chicago. The presentation, which he has given me permission to share with you, focused on three key takeaways.

1) Focus on fewer partners who can deliver deeper, more effective relationships that drive business results

2) Innovate with partners who are not the usual suspects

3) Invest in tools and processes, which build a culture of innovation throughout your company

You can download the full presentation here: Focusing Open Innovation Efforts to Drive Business Impact by Navin Kunde, Clorox

I hope the below appetizers will entice you to look at the presentation and do some more research on Clorox on their open innovation efforts. Here we go:

Organize network partners for competitive advantage!

Clorox say that “we build cutting edge networks and partnerships that drive technical innovation and accelerate growth”

A network is defined as “A network is a collection of people or entities, including external and internal partners, who have the knowledge, experience and connections to effectively educate and help execute current and future initiatives, while reducing risk.”

When you look at the presentation, you can see that Clorox has done some interesting work on mapping their networks.

Partnerships on three levels

Clorox has three levels of partnerships with their supply base.

1) Transactional relationship: Engage on innovation only when they bring significantly differentiated capabilities

2) Preferred partnership: Provides some innovation value, with proportional investment in relationship

3) Strategic partnership: Deeply integrated teams (e.g. Glad JV), and core innovation suppliers (e.g. win-balance, core fragrance)

Clorox applies a Win-Balance program to their level 3 partners, which is ultimately an exercise in strategic governance. The tactics include:

• Share deeper strategic insight with Win-Balance partners

• Proactively engage at multiple levels of the Clorox organization, and across the breadth of Clorox business units

• Promote business growth with Win-Balance partners through preferential engagement relative to non-Win-Balance suppliers

The Clorox benefits from the program are: strategic clarity, deeper collaboration and supply base consolidation

In the presentation, Navin Kunde also shares some insights on two specific innovation initiatives at Clorox named !NNOVENT and The Creative Coalition and he provides an overview of one of their networking programs.

The latter in particular looks quite interesting and seemingly very successful with internal feedback such as “Over half of R&D managers now strongly support external networking, up from one-third a year ago!” and “Significant increase in value from interactions with external experts and suppliers (33% and 45% respectively)”.

Thanks for sharing this, Navin! Great stuff!

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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