Book Review and Innovation Summary – "The Open Innovation Revolution"

by Stefan Lindegaard

The Open Innovation RevolutionA few weeks ago I received “The Open Innovation Revolution” by Stefan Lindegaard in the mail. “The Open Innovation Revolution” is an approachable 200 pages, and is an easy, and pleasant read.

Stefan Lindegaard is contributor to Blogging Innovation and is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focuses on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation.

The book tries to tackle the hot topic of open Innovation. If you’re not familiar with open innovation, the basic idea is that it is not all of the smart people in the world that could contribute to your organization’s success, live within the organization’s four walls. Open innovation is when an organization pursues innovation with the assistance of brains outside the organization – sometimes publicly, sometimes privately.

Most books on innovation focus on ideation, creativity, or the process for managing innovation, but open innovation requires a different mindset and a different set of skills, mindsets, and culture to execute successfully because the organization does not control all of the resources in this approach. “The Open Innovation Revolution” gives you a peek at what some of the leading organizations in the open innovation revolution are doing and some of the things that you need to think about and plan for.

The book is broken into three main sections:

  • The Essentials
  • Roadblocks
  • Personal Leadership for Open Innovation

Here are some of the core principles from the book to spark your thinking:

  • Open innovation is very much about the bridging of internal and external resources to make innovation happen
  • “Embracing the outside requires that you really know the inside.”
  • Very few companies have an innovation strategy, and even fewer have properly integrated open innovation into their innovation strategy instead of just trying to bolt it on.
  • There are three fundamental questions you must ask yourself before embarking on a journey toward open innovation:
    1. What will open innovation do to our business model?
    2. How will your organizational chart change to accommodate open innovation?
    3. What does this mean to my role as a manager or leader?
  • There are many important elements to a successful open innovation culture including: overcoming NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome, understanding that open innovation requires open communication, striving for a balance of internal and external R&D, and more.
  • It is important to effectively identify and develop the people who will drive open innovation for the organization
  • Organizations that are successful at open innovation AND that are successful at innovation in general have a strong networking culture (in other words, people in the organization are good at connecting to others inside and outside the organization who have something to contribute)
  • Organizations are built and executives are rewarded for operating the existing business efficiently, not for taking on the new and the risky
  • Business plan competitions are not just for universities – many corporations organize them internally to get ideas from their staff

Taken all together I think “The Open Innovation Revolution” provides a good introduction to open innovation for those who are curious about the topic, and for those who might be finding themselves suddenly thrust forward to potentially lead their organization’s open innovation efforts.

Please also see our interview with Stefan Lindegaard.

I would love to hear what you think in the comments (especially if you’ve read this book).

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Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is the editor of Blogging Innovation and founder of Business Strategy Innovation, a consultancy focusing on innovation and marketing strategy. Braden is also the author of the forthcoming book “Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire” from John Wiley & Sons.

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  1. Stefan sent me a copy of this book a while back to review. It is great. He has a down-to-earth, no BS approach to open innovation. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to cut through the fluff and get some real content.

    Braden, I look forward to reviewing your book!

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