In case you hadn’t heard, open innovation was defined by Henry Chesbrough as “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.”
But what does that really mean? It means that great ideas can come from anywhere. It means that open innovation can happen within an organization (the next great product idea can come from marketing) or it means you can look outside your organization for great ideas, invite them to surface publicly while you work on them internally.
But it really means something else, as well. It means that the process of innovation and competitiveness has been democratized. No company can corner the market on great ideas, because they can come from anywhere. Even small businesses can ask their communities, their customers, their partners for suggestions that could make them the next big start-up.
But what this also means is that companies need to develop new skill sets in order to stay at the edge. They need to become great communicators, they need to become master evaluators, and they need to be able to rapidly implement, test, and optimize great ideas. Even now, 68% of projects never see the light of day which is a lot of work and time poured into things that won’t end up generating revenue. The innovators with the competitive market advantage are going to be the ones that can effectively identify a great idea and build it rapidly, leaving others in the dust.
If you want to learn more about open innovation, download our complimentary Open Innovation Guide.