Why Do Companies Embrace Open Innovation?

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A few months ago, I met with the Sr. Director, Open Innovation at Lego. I asked him the above question. His response came fast and clear.

“We have no choice”, he said and continued: “Our customers simply demand to be part of the development of our products and service and our employees tell us they can do more if we open up our innovation efforts. So in our view, we have no choice but to open up.”

Let’s take a look at another compay, Psion. A few years ago, they were in deep trouble and the new CEO John Conoley quickly concluded that they needed to change their innovation methods in order to right the company.

They decided to embrace open innovation and during an interview with them I asked John Conoley why they wanted to do this.

He said something that has stuck with me ever since.

“We want to be competitively unpredictable”

I just like the taste of this. Which company would not want to become competitively unpredictable? As the interview continued, I asked him how he would do this and then he surprised me again by saying something a CEO rarely does:

He said: “I have no idea! – but it is my job as the CEO to create the right framework and conditions for this to happen.” Open innovation is very much about changing the processes within a company. You need executive support to make this happen just like what Conoley gave then.

It would be great if you can share other examples on why companies embrace open innovation.

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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