Author Archives: Kevin McFarthing

Open Innovation in Large Contracting Relationships

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) is a successful organization of professionals involved with large contracts, procurement and outsourcing. If you want to know about anything to do with this area, they are the “go to” people, and are very ably led by Tim Cummins. I was delighted when Tim asked me to present at their EMEA ...

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Open Innovation and IP – Protecting Trade Secrets

A lot has been written about Intellectual Property (IP) and Open Innovation. It’s not surprising, because it’s one of the thorniest problems facing collaborators. In a recent blog I talked about the importance of having a flexible approach to IP policy, ensuring that you can deliver the deal that is most appropriate to the partner and opportunity under consideration. Now ...

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Make Innovation Part of Your Routine

We all know the regular diary entries. Write monthly report. Produce monthly numbers. Set annual objectives. Plan summer holiday. Watch favorite TV program. These tasks come around with regularity and frequency and become part of our routine. The routine concept struck me while reviewing Jeffrey Philips’ and Paul Hobcraft’s Collaborative Innovation Reference Framework. Do we make innovation routine? Well, I ...

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Open Innovation and IP – What's your policy?

A lot has been written about Intellectual Property (IP) and Open Innovation (OI). It’s not surprising, because it’s often one of the thorniest problems facing collaborators. Recent research from the IACCM (International Association for Contract and Commercial Management) shows that IP is the fourth most commonly negotiated term in contracts; yet it doesn’t reach the top ten of terms leading ...

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My Idea is a Bad Idea

There seems to have been a lot of discussion around the innovation blogs recently about who is allowed to innovate; tapping into the creativity of everybody; allowing people to run with their ideas; and making sure that idea selection doesn’t just happen at the top of the business.  The implication is that the originators of the idea should “own” the ...

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Directed Serendipity

As each year goes by it gets tougher to buy Christmas presents, as you have to search harder for something original and at the same time desired. There is a strong parallel with Open Innovation (OI). You need to look harder and in new places to find new things. That’s where the concept of Directed Serendipity comes in. It simply ...

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Innovation and Soccer

I’m passionate about innovation. I’m passionate about sport, particularly football – sorry, I should say soccer for a predominantly US audience. I also love sporting analogies and the use of sporting aphorisms in business. For example, when somebody says, “step up to the plate”, or “it’s a slam dunk”, the meaning is clear, even in countries where baseball and basketball ...

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Do challenging targets drive innovation?

Let me first acknowledge the stimulus for this blog post – thank you to Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation and his recent article on innovation and network effects. Jeffrey correctly pointed out that markets with intense competition are more likely to contain innovative companies. It follows Darwinian logic – not survival of the fittest, but survival of those most able ...

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Innovation Perspectives – A Rhetorical Question

This is the lost fifth ‘Innovation Perspective‘ article that we were supposed to publish last month as part of a series from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘Should companies treat innovation management as a core competence? And if so, how?’. Here is the missing perspective in the series: by Kevin McFarthing It’s really a rhetorical question – should ...

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Don't Blame the IP Lawyer

I attended the 2nd Open Innovation Summit in Chicago last week. It was a really good event with many interesting presentations. In the pre-conference workshop, and in the main conference, the subject of obstacles to Open Innovation (OI) came up frequently. In many cases, the devil of the piece was the in-house lawyer. One presenter described herself as a “recovering ...

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