In many companies, there’s a belief that products and services should be developed entirely within the company. Perhaps the idea is that this ensures the preservation of essential knowledge and core competencies within the company, especially when it comes to innovation work and conceptualizing new products and services.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There’s actually a better alternative to grappling with problems on your own: open innovation.
Open innovation fuels innovative activities
American organizational theorist Henry Chesbrough defined the term “open innovation” at the beginning of the millennium, but in recent times, it has emerged as one of the prevailing trends in modern innovation practices.
Open innovation means that organizations open themselves up to external parties, such as partners, customers, and research institutions. The goal is to leverage external expertise, ideas, and resources in the process of product development. Collaboration and partnerships play a pivotal role in open innovation strategies.
Through open innovation, an organization shares the risks associated with innovation with external partners. This reduces financial risks and ensures the retention of critical experts in productive projects. Additionally, external partners bring their own expertise and resources, diminishing the sole responsibility of innovation from a single organization.
Utilizing open innovation also aids in creating and reinforcing an organizational culture of innovation. It encourages openness, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and fosters an environment where creativity and innovativeness flourish.
Open innovation in practice
With the help of external innovation services, a company gains valuable support and resources for various stages and needs in the development process.
1. Idea generation and crystallization
External innovation services can assist in discovering new ideas and innovations or in crystallizing customer needs that support the innovation phase. They can also aid in better managing innovation processes and identifying new opportunities.
2. Innovative methods and tools
Providers of external innovation services bring innovative methods, approaches, tools, practical solutions, and techniques to the table. These tools promote creativity, prototype development, and idea testing.
3. Customized services
You can expect services tailored to your organization’s needs from external innovation service providers. The service provider should be willing to understand your organization’s goals, challenges, resources, and offer services that address these needs.
4. Collaboration with partners
Through external innovation services, you can find partners to support your product development. This enables effective utilization of external specialized expertise, expediting your product development process.
5. Training and guidance
External innovation services can offer training and guidance on product development-related topics. This could involve organizing workshops, coaching, and seminars to share knowledge and best practices. These training sessions enhance your team’s expertise and reinforce your organizational innovation culture.
Benefits of open innovation
To fully reap the benefits of open innovation, it’s important to define the real needs and objectives. In our experience, involving an innovation partner in the definition phase is valuable, as external perspectives contribute to constructing the overall picture. This ensures a strong start for your project, enhances the efficiency of the innovation process, and improves accuracy.
Consider the advantages of open innovation:
- Diverse range of ideas: Open innovation allows you to tap into varied perspectives and ideas that you might not have discovered within a closed team or organization.
- Efficient problem-solving: Open innovation methods involve a larger crowd in problem-solving. When a broader group shares their viewpoints and knowledge, finding solutions can be quicker and more effective.
- Cost savings and resource sharing: Open innovation utilizes resources and expertise from other companies or communities, which can reduce costs and enhance project feasibility.
- Product development and improvements: Open innovation provides feedback and ideas for improving existing products and services, as well as developing new ones.
- Engaging the community: In open innovation, customers and partners have a direct say in the development of products and services, strengthening customer relationships.
Interested in outsourcing innovation activities? Get in touch with us and let’s innovate together to create something unprecedented!
Collaborating with us in open innovation offers an unparalleled opportunity to advance your business. Since 2015, we have been innovating openly with our clients. Contact us to explore business potential in an unseen way.