Open Innovation

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Open innovation

Open innovation is a term used to describe a process of innovation where organizations look externally as well as internally for ideas, knowledge, and technologies that can help them develop and bring to market new products or services. It is based on the idea that companies don‘t have to rely solely on their own research and development to create new products and services. Instead, they can look to the outside world for ideas and solutions that can help them innovate.

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Learn more about Open Innovation

Open innovation is the practice of a company opening its R&D department to input from people outside the company or to employees from other departments within the organization.

This approach entails providing information about issues and appealing to those outside the company for advice and solutions.

Open innovation can come through long-standing collaborations in developing innovative systems, crowdsourcing, and other co-creation activities.

The underlying philosophy of open innovation is that firms cannot rely only on their internal knowledge and resources but should also access external ideas to remain competitive.

Many companies have shifted to this model to speed up innovation and bring better products to market faster.

Hence, open innovation enables many individuals to engage in problem-solving and product creation. It also helps organizations to be more efficient in their use of resources and to commercialize their innovations more quickly.

These advantages aside, open innovation also brings other benefits, including:

  • A pool of resources and ideas from a variety of sources leads to the conception of more innovative solutions
  • A more open and collaborative culture within an organization
  • Acceleration of the innovation process with plenty of concepts coming from outside the company
  • Improved products and services as input from various sources to identify new areas for improvement.
  • Lowered innovation costs, particularly when the company does not have to invest as much in research and development
  • Greater transparency in the innovation process as employees can see what others are working on
  • A more diverse workforce as the company can tap into a global pool of talent
  • Boosted brand visibility
  • Potential investors

There are different types of open innovation. The three most common types include:

Internal open innovation

This type of open innovation happens when a company opens up its R&D department to employees from other departments within the organization. The aim is to get new perspectives on how to solve problems and develop new products, services, or processes.

An example of internal open innovation is when a company allows its employees to share their knowledge and expertise, leading to more innovative solutions.

This approach has helped many companies develop new products and improve their existing products faster than if they had relied solely on their internal resources.

External open innovation

This open innovation happens when a company solicits ideas and advice from outside the organization. The company may use various methods, such as social media, online platforms, or competitions.

An example of this method is crowdsourcing, where a company asks for ideas or solutions from a large group of people, usually via the internet.

Crowdsourcing can be a very effective way to generate new ideas, as it allows a company to tap into the collective knowledge of a large group of people.

Can also classify open innovation according to the level of inclusion

Companies may leverage open innovation in various ways, putting the principle into practice whichever best serves their commercial goals. You can clearly grasp how to utilize open innovation as you consider the various forms it might take.

Four levels of inclusiveness allow us to categorize open innovation:

1. Intracompany

Intracompany refers to internal initiatives for open innovation. While this form of invention counters the general tenets of open innovation, intracompany innovation collects resources from several departments.

The idea is that by doing so, your company can develop products or services more quickly than if it relied on a single department. For example, a company might have a policy allowing employees from different departments to share ideas.

2. Intercompany

In an intercompany open innovation, open collaboration between two or more businesses happens. Such an arrangement can offer several advantages, the most noteworthy being sharing resources, which can decrease costs.

Other benefits include a reduction in the time it takes to bring products or services to market and an increase in the overall quality of the innovation.

One example of an intercompany concept is when two companies collaborate to develop a new product, like how Apple and Mastercard worked together to produce Apple Pay.

This app allows people to save and use the information from their credit or debit cards to perform cardless transactions via iPhones.

3. For experts

This type of open innovation involves bringing in individuals from outside the business with the necessary skills and expertise to offer insightful commentary on any innovation-related activities of the company.

An example of this approach would be a company inviting experts from other industries to offer their thoughts on how the company could improve its products or services.

4. Publicly open

A publicly open innovation welcomes anyone from outside the company to participate in open innovation, regardless of their background.

An excellent example of publicly open innovation is the open source movement, where businesses allow anyone to contribute to developing their products or services.

This type of innovation is often seen as the riskiest, as it can be challenging to control the quality of the contributions.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of open innovation. It is essential to consider these factors when deciding which form of open innovation is suitable for your company.

Open innovation positively impacts a company’s bottom line, but it is essential to remember that it is not a panacea.

There are risks associated with open innovation, and it is vital to be aware of these before embarking on any open innovation initiatives. Open innovation can be a powerful tool for companies looking to improve their products and services when done correctly.

There are a variety of ways to go about open innovation. For companies just starting with open innovation, some software options can help them. These tools can guide everything from establishing an open innovation process to managing contributions from outside sources.

Collect innovation ideas publicly

An innovation software like Accept Mission can help organizations collect innovative ideas publicly, particularly from employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

Several software platforms allow companies to collect innovative ideas from various sources. These tools can help organizations keep track of all the ideas that come in and initiate collaboration on the most promising ideas.

Gamification methods to boost activity

Innovation software can help companies gamify their open innovation process to boost activity and engagement. Gamification is using game mechanics and rewards to encourage participation in any activity.

This concept uses badges, points, and leaderboards for open innovation to motivate employees, customers, and stakeholders to contribute. Some different software platforms offer gamification features for open innovation.

These tools can help organizations increase participation in their open innovation initiatives.

Score and select ideas

Idea management software can help companies score and select ideas.

This type of software typically includes a scoring system that allows companies to evaluate ideas based on factors, assisting organizations in prioritizing the most promising ideas and moving them forward in the innovation process.

Some ideas management platforms offer scoring and selection features. These tools can help companies save time and resources by identifying the best ideas early in the innovation process.

There are many different open innovation models that businesses can use. However, choosing the best models for your company has to be based on your needs and objectives. Some of the most popular innovation models include:

1. Challenges

An innovation challenge involves setting a challenge for the public, with a prize for the best solution. Businesses can create innovation challenges to generate ideas and uncover answers.

This event can be either open or private.

Innovation challenges are significant in generating fresh concepts and increasing brand recognition.

2. Hackathons

A hackathon is an event where people come together to work on a specific problem or project. Hackathons typically last a few days, and participants work together to create prototypes or solutions.

In contrast to innovation challenges, hackathons delve further into the project’s specifics, frequently reaching the minimal viable product stage.

Hackathons’ main objectives are working quickly and utilizing creative ability and knowledge to generate momentum quickly.

3. Intrapreneurship

An intrapreneurship program is an initiative that involves companies allowing employees to work on new ideas and projects. Businesses use this program to encourage innovation within a company.

An excellent technique to identify creative talent is through intrapreneurship. This principle aims to identify team members of employees with a startup attitude, giving them the assistance, resources, and guidance to tackle challenging issues.

This concept acknowledges that companies don’t always need to reach outside the company to develop products and services. More often than not, these resources only need the chance to speak out and participate in innovation activities.

4. Startup incubator

A startup incubator is a program that helps new startups get off the ground. These programs provide resources, mentorship, and training to help startups grow.

Many incubators are sector-specific, helping healthcare startups, food startups, and technology startups. Startup incubators can be a great way for companies to get involved in the startup ecosystem.

5. Startup-corporate partnerships

A startup-corporate partnership is a partnership between a startup and a corporation. This type of partnership can take many forms but typically involves the startup working with the corporation to develop a new product or service.

Startup-corporate partnerships can be an excellent way for startups to access resources and mentorship while also allowing corporations to tap into the startup ecosystem and support the development of new ideas.

6. Co-creation labs

A co-creation lab is a space where people can come together to work on new ideas and projects. Organizations use co-creation labs to encourage innovation and collaboration. These labs allow people to work together on new ideas, prototypes, and solutions.

Accept Mission is an excellent platform for companies to host innovation challenges and campaigns. This platform allows companies to:

Set campaigns internally, externally, or open. Launch campaigns in minutes with customizable templates.

Define parameters, such as timeline, submission format, and the number of winners.

Choose criteria for selection. These could be anything from the quality of the idea to the feasibility of execution.

Receive submissions, judge, score, and evaluate entries with a team of experts and other relevant participants if necessary. Get detailed insights and analytics on submissions.

Integrate with existing workflows and systems to improve and accelerate innovation campaigns and other open innovation activities.

Invite specific people or groups to participate and communicate with them well within the platform for seamless collaboration.

Engage people with gamification elements and social features to make the challenge more fun and exciting.

Work together on ideas and projects with constant updates on their progress.

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