(This blog was first posted on ideapoke.com)
Open Innovation encourages the creation of constructive knowledge sharing partnerships between partnered organizations. This collaborative approach cannot be constructively implemented without a thorough understanding of the fundamental elements that comprise a successful Open Innovation strategy. We take a look at the basic building blocks of Open Innovation as outlined in this study by the Big Innovation Center.
Open Innovation strategies require financial foresight, a pivot in company wide strategy and an internal cultural shift. Based on the extreme nature of these internal changes employees may respond to Open Innovation frameworks with a degree of initial resistance. Open Innovation can only be successfully incorporated as a top down incentive that can overcome potential employee skepticism. It is the responsibility of an organization’s management team to not only facilitate employees’ understanding of Open Innovation tactics, but also to personally guarantee the development of mutually beneficial collaborative partnerships. by instilling these interactions with trust, credibility, and reliability.
Many innovation focused organizations have already recognized the importance of external collaboration. Yet some firms still struggle to incorporate Open Innovation strategy into their structural framework. Open Innovation cannot be effectively utilized if the organization does not inherently prioritize innovation within its corporate operations. The only method that ensures holistic integration is the incorporation of Open Innovation directly into the framework of an organization’s existing strategy.
Innovation focused companies must tailor their Open Innovation strategies to the goals and operational capacities of the business. A central team should be made responsible for company wide Open Innovation training, legal, IP policy and best practices to ensure the best outcomes. This is a fundamental requirement for organizations that aim to successfully integrate this collaborative practice into corporate strategy.
Certain employees may be more inherently inclined towards the efficient adoption of Open Innovation strategies. Employees who rely on social media will find it easier to grasp and utilize the base concepts of Open Innovation, including knowledge sharing for mutual benefit. Management teams must be aware that socially open employees may be reluctant to allow their interactions to be governed by corporate regulation to avoid the release and circulation of specific internal concepts to outside partners.
Certain organizations boast corporate strategies that are strongly tied with safety, credibility, and risk-averse operations. This reputation is maintained for the benefit of internal workers as well as clients who rely on these attributes to make sound investment decisions. Such organizations must weigh the potential benefits of Open Innovation against perceived damages to their reputation through external information exchanges.
Open Innovation tools can be utilized by progressive organizations to ensure the responsible adoption of external partnership strategies. First, firms must identify the resource requirements that a specific Open Innovation model demands. The organization must distinguish between resources that can be developed internally and resources that must be procured from reliable sources outside of the organization. This step enables progressive firms to lay out a framework for mutually beneficial information exchanges that prevent vital resources from being allocated towards the procurement of external knowledge that is not essential to the organization’s needs.
Next, firms must establish criteria by which beneficial potential partnerships can be located and evaluated. This step prevents the allocation of resources towards the establishment of insufficient or extraneous partnerships. An Open Innovation focused firm must map out and initiate processes that can be used to procure strategic partnerships that will serve the goals of the organization. The final element is the identification of tools and resources that will allow for the successful management of long term collaborative partnerships to ensure the continuous renewal of benefits and knowledge on both sides.
Organizations must identify appropriate metrics by which to judge the success of their Open Innovation strategies. A successful Open Innovation metrics framework will allow the organization to identify return on investment so that strategies and partnerships can be appropriately managed or altered. Metrics for judging ROI may include revenue contribution from new products, time-to-market savings, increase in customer base and partner network size & connectedness. Open Innovation strategies and metrics must be circulated and understood internally in order to ensure long-term implementation and success. By the same token, metrics must be shared with Open Innovation partners in order to ensure that trust, credibility, and reliability are maintained.
Before an organization embarks on an Open Innovation journey, they need to clearly understand these building blocks and evaluate their readiness. If the leadership is eagerly committed to incorporating an Open Innovation strategy, they will find ways to influence the rest of the organization to adopt it as well.