100% Open is a new agency specialising in open innovation. They have an interesting Jam & Discover approach to open innovation and they also run networks and extend into training and venturing.
In their report: Open innovation – From marginal to mainstream, they give us some guiding principles on open innovation that I find worth sharing. I have previously written about their guiding principle on communication; this one is on strategy
100% Open Guiding Principle on Strategy:
• Like any innovation process, you should start at the end. Without a clear vision of the sort of relationships you’re aiming for in open innovation, you can forget about asking potential collaborators for their skills, ideas or resources. You need to show that you are serious about collaboration and that means being clear about the time, money and appetite you have to see a potential partnership through to the end. We would always recommend starting at the end with a win-win business model in mind.
• A more flexible approach is a worthwhile cultural challenge. There are practical steps that underpin a successful innovation network and can help protect intellectual property such as getting to know your partners better, giving a clear definition of the mutual benefits and establishing performance targets.
• Suspend judgement – being open to new ideas and opinions is a vital component that allows unconventional and innovative ideas to develop and grow. Worse, being prematurely judgemental will kill relationships.
• Try not to manage risk down to zero. Open innovation is not about selling certainty, it’s all about managed uncertainty. Procter & Gamble estimates that only one in a hundred good ideas makes it to the market whether they come from within or outside, but external ideas will often have greater potential.
• Measuring open innovation is still an emerging discipline. It needs to consider all the direct and indirect measures of innovation benefits and costs, but from the perspectives from each party involved. It needs to develop useful and predictive measures of the key relationships and reliable methods for valuing networks, in addition to exploring new measures such as the complementarity of products and processes and the mobility of assets.
Setting an innovation culture is also about personal transformation, starting at the top. Do organisations have enough polymath leaders – multi-skilled individuals, who combine designer flair, engineering skill and marketing imagination? Training and recruitment will play a part.