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Open Innovation

Whether the focus is on product development, service delivery, customer satisfaction, or market share capture, competition drives a company to improve its performance. Taking this to the next level, effective competitive systems encourage outstanding innovation, by allowing the best and brightest to tackle an organization’s biggest challenges. Internal Competitions Creating an internal competition is an excellent way to motivate your workforce to develop innovative solutions and new business opportunities. The most common structure is to form teams which compete to develop concepts, often working with mentors who provide guidance as needed. The teams present their projects to a panel of judges who select the best innovations for implementation. This process has the advantages of: Encouraging teamwork; Demonstrating trust in internal expertise; and Developing pathways for employees to participate in innovation regardless of job title or department. The significant downside of this process is that it keeps innovation solely as an organizational process, which...

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Enterprise level innovation is the practice of looking beyond the organization’s R&D systems and past its discrete departments, to connect with global collaborators and improve business agility. This practice harnesses the benefits of open innovation to achieve specific enterprise-level goals. Why Enterprise Level Innovation (ELI) Matters The lifespan of large, successful companies is shrinking, and this trend is expected to continue. In 1965, the corporate lifespan of those listed on the S&P 500 was 33 years. By 1990, it shrank to 20 years, and it’s expected to drop to 14 years by 2026. Some of this change is due to mergers and bankruptcies, but a leading cause is market disrupters and innovators. This is a stark reminder of a simple truth: A company will not enjoy longevity in the marketplace without reinventing itself. The reason most businesses fail at this process is that they are not built for delivery or business agility,...

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Open innovation allows organizations to harness the creative efforts of others, both across the globe and in the office down the hall. The OI process is one that inspires and engages creative thinkers and transforms them into collaborators. While many corporations are establishing OI programs, not all find success. We offer these dos and don’ts as guideposts, avoiding common pitfalls and finding the path to effective OI. DO: Set Goals. Know why you are establishing an OI program and what you want to achieve. Define the problems you want to solve or advancements you want to realize and develop an OI program that supports these goals. Invest in Creativity. Break down internal organizational silos, including job descriptions and departments, and allow meaningful contribution to your projects, regardless of their source. Follow those same principles and engage outside collaborators by looking at the value of the information received rather than who contributed...

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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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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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The shift from closed innovation to open innovation is the defining characteristic of this decade. Startups are able to compete with billionaires, disrupting entire industries from cheaply assembled DIY workspaces. Even large companies like Microsoft are replacing private R&D with open source methods. All entrepreneurs, freelancers, and members of technology-focused industries should study this change. Open Innovation is a Revolution Many of the biggest innovations of the last few decades were built upon pre-existing infrastructure. Jeff Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon, spoke about this concept at the Code Conference in 2016. He explained that the internet was only made possible by the existence of telephone lines. As the infrastructure grows, so does the possibility for innovation. Manufacturers are already starting to build products on the newly emerging infrastructures of 3-D printing and artificial intelligence. This is exactly what open innovation is about. How To Embrace Open Innovation The notion of building products upon public...

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Idea Management Software Streamlines Open Innovation "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...

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