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Author: Jeff Venn

The goal of open innovation is to allow organizations to collaborate with external resources to advance their technologies. Through OI, companies can efficiently address product or system needs and increase responsiveness to marketplace demands. Successful utilization of OI includes four essential steps and the right tool to manage them. Crowdsourcing The first step is connecting with external resources to gather and evaluate ideas. You need a strong cyber scouting tool that challenges and engage your target collaborators as well as filters ideas to assure the best concepts are captured. This system should also provide intellectual property protection for both the organizations and the external collaborators. Innovation Integration Organizations must have a system to take select ideas and integrate them into their system. This step is critical to achieving the full benefit of OI, and is one that is the most likely stumbling block. While some companies embrace the concept of OI, they are hesitant...

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Open Innovation is the grounded in the belief that great ideas can come from any source and an organization’s internal expertise will transform those ideas into market value. The challenge comes when an organization chooses to shift from a closed innovation system to an open one. The decision to make this change will not be successful unless it is accompanied by a corresponding adjustment in corporate culture. The Cultural Shift When we discuss a corporation’s culture, we are in essence referring to its personality. It is rooted in shared values, attitudes and traditions that its leaders and employees believe in. As a result, corporate culture directs how its people behave toward each other and those outside the company. For long-term business success, this culture must align with corporate goals, strategies, and vision. Although each company is different, most have a traditional corporate culture that includes the belief that all innovation is internally driven....

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Open innovation injects new ideas into an organization by providing the ability for non-employees to submit concepts for consideration. The process relies on a pool of involved and enthusiastic contributors who want to participate in the process. The challenge is how to attract and engage these innovators in a way that sustains their interest and increases the quality of their submissions. Gamification is an excellent tool to achieve this goal. Gamification is the process of transforming tasks or processes into a competitive process to engage users, solve problems, increase productivity, and drive innovation. It encourages ongoing participation, which keeps the open innovation ideas flowing. Gamification Systems The concept of gamification is part of our everyday lives, in that certain systems encourage our active participation. Examples include: Airline Frequent Flyer Programs Real-time Fuel Usage Tracker Apps One Day Sales Crosswalk Countdowns Credit Card Rewards Store Savings Apps Each of these systems gives rewards for participation,...

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eZassi Provides Practical Workflow Capabilities Have you ever shifted files or cleaned out your inbox files only to discover a great project that has languished, forgotten in the sea of other information? This situation is both common and avoidable. When it occurs on an organizational level, it hinders both innovation and market responsiveness. There is a better way. Open Innovation and Workflow eZassi is globally recognized for delivering the best OI management tools on the market. We have combined this innovative software with an intuitive, customizable workflow system that: Integrates all project functions on one dashboard; Allows you to track projects from concept submission to product marketing; Establishes and assigns tasks for every phase of concept to product efforts; Includes graphics that lets you see the workflow status with a simple click of a mouse; Gives you the power to customize the workflow to match your systems, and modify them further to address the needs...

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eZassi is honored to participate in the 11th edition of “Unleashing Innovation” being held on April 6th and 7th at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. This dynamic, two-day conference brings together world innovation leaders from a variety of industries, who will discuss innovation strategies and how to harness them for success. Unleashing Cocktails and Innovation with eZassi To enhance the conference experience, eZassi is hosting a cocktail hour to bring together speakers and attendees for an enjoyable evening of casual conversations and networking opportunities. Mix and mingle with like-minded individuals who understand that innovation is not a job title or a department, it is an organizational lifestyle that focuses on taking tomorrow’s ideas and turning them into realities. And don’t worry, drinks are on us. Register for our event to receive two free drink tickets and an opportunity to vote for your social hour venue of choice. You will also be...

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Holding an open innovation challenge is an excellent way to ensure a continuous flow of fresh ideas to your organization. When launching your next challenge, consider these five guiding principles.   1. Cast a Wide Net to Find Unexpected Innovators Let everyone know that you're on the hunt for ideas. You never know who is capable of coming up with a great innovation. Make the deadline and incentive for making submissions clear. Let the participants know what they will get for entering a winning innovation. GE's CEO Jeff Immelt went all out when he launched the massive "Ecomagination Challenge," using a press conference, VC firms, and marketing to garner participation. This innovation challenge resulted in the largest public participation ever run with 100,000s of participants.   2. Make the Innovation Challenge Specific The best ideas come from specific challenges. Make sure the contestants know the specific problems you're trying to solve. Set guidelines for any desired innovations...

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"Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_innovation   R&D Is No Longer a Barrier to Entry or Strong Strategic Advantage  Traditionally, innovation was a closely guarded secret. R&D teams hid away in secrecy innovating, discovering, and releasing the next generation of products. Think of IBM, Bell Labs, DuPont and other companies where R&D was a valuable strategic asset.   Traditional Companies Are Moving Toward Open Innovation According to the MIT Sloan Management review "Companies are increasingly rethinking the fundamental ways in which they generate ideas and bring them to market — harnessing external ideas while leveraging their in-house R&D outside their current operations." http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-era-of-open-innovation/   Harvesting, managing and sorting through 1,000s of ideas to find the diamonds in the rough is a daunting process.   Large organizations further complicate this process with...

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