Trust or Mistrust: What Should Be Key Mindset for Open Innovation?


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Two months ago, I would never have raised this question. I would be all in for trust to be the key mindset needed when you engage in open innovation.

Being a Dane/Nordic, I prefer to trust others and I expect people to play hard, but fair when it comes to business.

But, and this is a big but, other people might have a different view and approach to life as well as business. They want to win no matter the means or costs. They don’t play by the rules – or they make up their own, new rules.

What happens when these mindsets collide when it comes to open innovation?

I recently had an interaction with a lawyer, who made a very good case that you need to be very careful going into open innovation relationships with too much “trust” in your mindset. This can be naïve and it can hurt your business opportunities in the short as well as the long term.

The lawyer almost convinced me that you need to start out with “mistrust” when you start building open innovation relationships and then hopefully this can turn into “trust” as you get to know your partners better.

I still want to believe in others, but business is business and it is done differently in a more and more global world. This makes me lean more towards “mistrust”.

It is a dilemma. What do you think?

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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