Is Open Innovation the Future for All Companies?

by Stefan Lindegaard

Is Open Innovation the Future for All Companies?Paul Sloane recently asked this question in my 15inno LinkedIn group:

Is Open Innovation the future for all companies or is it so damned hard that only a few will have the resources and commitment to make it work?

I think this is an interesting question although I acknowledge it is a question that you cannot answer with a simple yes or no.

Personally, I do not think we will talk much about open innovation 5-7 years from now. This is not because I believe the idea of opening up the innovation process is wrong; on the contrary. What will happen is that the terms “open innovation” and “innovation” will merge leaving us with just “innovation” – but the meaning of this term will include a much higher external element than what see today.

As an answer to Paul’s question, I would say this development will happen in all industries and thus open innovation will definitely impact all industries.

Well, it is a great question for a discussion. Now, you have my starter and you can also see some comments from the LinkedIn discussion below.

What is your take on this?

Nathalie Picard: Paul, there are hundreds of ways to implement “open innovation,” from a simple diversification of sources of innovation to a complete dependence on external innovation. Most companies have recognized for years the value of external innovation and have already implemented “open innovation” to some extent. ?Open innovation has a lot of pros: It offers maximum flexibility, versatility, learning and networking opportunities,.. ?It also has some drawbacks. ?Is it the future for all companies? One size fits all is not the future. However, I believe each company will find its own way to implement and maximize the value of “open innovation.”

Cristiano Kruel: Paul, open innovation (OI) can be hard due our “current way of thinking and managing”. But OI alone is not the future. The future – seems to me – is something that OI is trying to show us all: “We will have to re-invent management, and that is going to be ugly!”

Clinton Bonner: I’d say OI is part of the future of most companies. What I see is our client’s bolstering their capabilities and being able to ramp up production on any given tech. platform without the need to re-train or hire. OI, through competitive development, is helping them work in a massively parallel fashion, and I think that’s the future of how a good majority of companies can embrace what it means to work in an OI fashion, without the need to try and build the necessary infrastructure and pro-community to do it. Now, are these companies culturally ready for this shift? Different discussion for sure.

Jason Husk: A corollary to your question, Paul: which is harder, expanding the c urrent organizational thinking to include OI as a way to increase speed and breadth of innovation, or keeping the status quo and becoming irrelevant as an organization (likely leading to the death of the organization)?


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Stefan LindegaardStefan Lindegaard is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation

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