Nine Tips for Open Innovation

March 14, 2010 Open Innovation
by Stefan Lindegaard

Last week, I attended an open innovation session led by General Mills. Among the distributed materials, I found nine tips for open innovation by Peter Erickson, their Sr. VP of Innovation, Technology and Quality.

The tips are based on General Mills’ successful collaborations with external innovators. I like them and since I believe they are universal, I want to share them with the open innovation community. Here they are:

• Create a differentiated opportunity. Be prepared to articulate how your product, idea or technology is unique and better than anything on the market.

Test your innovation. You’ll be able to speak to market interest and consumer or retailer reaction if you’ve previously placed your innovation before these audiences.

• Be selective. Avoid courting multiple corporate partners. Companies want to know you are as dedicated to them as they are to you.

• Find a contact to be your champion. Within a large company it’s essential to have a “tour guide” which is why all of General Mills’  external partners are matched with specific employees.

• Do your homework. Educate yourself on your partner’s key business line, strategies, industry and competitors.

Connect the dots. Make the connection between your innovation and the company’s business model and brand.

• Demonstrate you can deliver. Describe your team’s experience, your innovation’s scalability and any validation needs (e.g. health claims).

• Have a business model in mind. Communicate your desired opportunity but stay flexible.

• Part on good terms. If a company opts to pass on an opportunity, leave the door open to future collaboration.

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Autor: Gabriel Catalano - human being | (#IN).perfección®

Lo importante es el camino que recorremos, las metas son apenas el resultado de ese recorrido. Llegar generalmente significa, volver a empezar!