Are You An Innovator? – Open Innovation at Philips – @lindegaard

by Stefan Lindegaard | facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation | Consulting | Connecting | Promoting

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That is the question Philips ask in their current open innovation challenge. Here students, entrepreneurs, and other budding inventors are encouraged to innovate around specific business challenges defined by product categories within the Consumer Lifestyle division at Philips.

Entrants are offered the chance to win a trip to Amsterdam to attend the finalist event, at which they can participate in an innovation masterclass given by Philips innovation specialists and the opportunity to present their innovation to Philips executives.

I am giving this a shout-out because my interactions over the years with Philips tell me that they are doing great things internally to develop an open innovation culture. We just don’t hear that much from Philips and I am thus glad to learn about…

Reflections on Open Innovation and Intellectual Property

by Stefan Lindegaard

Reflections on Open Innovation and Intellectual PropertyIntellectual property rights (IPR) used to be the key topic at open innovation conferences a few years back. Although still an important topic, this is no longer the case as companies mature on open innovation and find ways to solve these issues.

This development led me to downplay the significance of IPR when it comes to open innovation. Maybe I went a bit too far on this. I am reflecting on this after a session in my Danish network group in which we had a great visit by Jørn Vestergaard-Jensen, a Danish lawyer with good insights on IPR issues for open innovation.

Here I share some of the insights gained and reflections made by myself and the other participants.

Business Before Legal

I was glad to hear that Vestergaard-Jensen had a business mindset. One of his key points was that the business case should take lead over legal issues, not the other way around. He also said that in his world – the lawyer community – good/skilled people have this mindset implicating that less skilled people might focus on reducing risks rather than seeing opportunities in open innovation. I suspect we could agree that there are less good/skilled people than the opposite…

Don’t Be Too Naive

We had an interesting discussion on how “naïve” you can afford to be in open innovation partnerships. Many people in the Nordic region (myself included) take pride in our fairly open and trusting approach in which we believe in the best of people and do not always see reasons to be suspicious and thus protect yourself legally. Some cultures – probably led by the US – have a different mindset on this.

I still believe that the open minded approach is the best in the long run as innovation is moving from a more transactional to a relationship-based approach, but the discussion did prompt several of the participants to consider whether their approach to legal protection should be adjusted. Seguir leyendo “Reflections on Open Innovation and Intellectual Property”

The Essential Element of Trust in Open Innovation

by Stenfan Lindeegar

What are the barriers against building trust and relationships with stakeholders in your ecosystem

  • Most organizational structures foster an internal rather than an external perspective.
  • Most companies view external partners as someone paid to deliver a specific service rather than a source of co – creation and open innovation.
  • Most companies are more focused on protecting their own knowledge and intellectual property rather than opening up and exploring new opportunities. They play defense rather than offense. This should not come as a surprise as one of the main objectives for corporate lawyers is to minimize risk, and it is fair to say that opening up to the outside world increases the risk element.
  • Forging strong relationships takes time and personal commitment. We are just too busy to make it happen and it does not help that most companies do not provide the necessary time, resources, and encouragement to make this happen.

What should you do to foster an organizational mindset that supports the building of trust?

Read this article:

What is Open Innovation? | Crowdsourcing? | User innovation? | Co-Creation?

By Stefan Lindegaard

Many people ask what open innovation is. I suggest that you should view open innovation as a philosophy or a mindset that you should embrace within your organization. In a more practical definition, open innovation is about bridging internal and external resources and act on those opportunities. The value proposition this gives companies that get it right is simply too good to miss out on.

I also like this quote from Henry Chesbrough; “Open innovation is 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

This still leaves three other questions:

What is crowdsourcing? Wikipedia states that “crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call.” I view crowdsourcing as a tool that can be used to bring external input into your organizations.

What is user-driven innovation? I view this as a technique in which companies gain insights from users, which can then be used in the innovation process. I think that a key element in user-driven innovation is the observation of users rather than the use of questionnaires and focus groups. Erich von Hippel is an important influencer with his contributions on lead-user innovation. Seguir leyendo “What is Open Innovation? | Crowdsourcing? | User innovation? | Co-Creation?”

Is Corporate Venture Dead? Is Open Innovation the New Thing?

Once upon a time, we had many corporate venture units that invested in external projects as well as in internal projects from the corporate groups that they belonged to.

The number of units declined steadily during the last decade and it continues to do so in the aftermath of the financial crisis. One company that I have always admired is Danfoss Ventures, which is the corporate venture arm of Danfoss, a group with 26,000 employees working with refrigeration, air conditioning, compressors and more.

Unfortunately, Danfoss Ventures – my role model on corporate venture – is now dead. According to Executive Vice President at Danfoss, Nis Storgaard, this is about prioritizing resources where they make most impact. Seguir leyendo “Is Corporate Venture Dead? Is Open Innovation the New Thing?”

Social Media Tools in Open Innovation Efforts

Companies have begun using social media tools in order to further build their networks and engage with their innovation stakeholders.

This creates what we can call touch points – situations in which a person or company interact with their current and/or future stakeholders.

Here are a few touch point examples:

• GE has an app for their Ecomagination challenge, which gives them an additional touch point that interacts nicely with their website for the challenge.

• Chris Thoen @cthoen is an active twitter on P&G’s open innovation efforts and others things related to innovation. This can help Thoen and P&G build an innovation leadership position as the innovation community appreciates efforts to distribute knowledge and insights.

However, Twitter is just one touch point in order to reach such a position. Other touch points could include a blog or a LinkedIn group focused on P&G’s corporate innovation capabilities.

• Whirlpool recently launched such a group on LinkedIn.

• Through their Intuit Collaboratory website, Intuit – among other things – announces events in which they interact physically which startups. At their latest event in August, we saw lots of tweets and although they did not deliver much learning, it was still nice to see how they have begun using Twitter.

• Psion experiments with Twitter Chats in which they share insights on their open innovation efforts. Seguir leyendo “Social Media Tools in Open Innovation Efforts”

Top 3 Innovation Trends and Issues

What is happening in the innovation community right now? In this post, I give a quick overview of the top trends and issues based on the interactions I have had over the last month or so.

1. Communication

At the recent Open Innovation Summit, communication in a more holistic perspective was a key topic.

Jeff Boehm of InventionMachine gave a great presentation titled Marketing Innovation in which he argued that innovation success requires internal communication. He’s right and I will share more from this presentation in a later blog post.

At a Think Tank session during the summit, we also identified communication as a key characteristic for open innovation leaders. Some keywords on this were internal & external communication, consistent behavior & messages, deliberate strategy, top-down modeling, confidence to share what you know.

You should check out this post by Andrea Meyer: Unilever, Cisco, Whirlpool: Communication in Open Innovation Seguir leyendo “Top 3 Innovation Trends and Issues”

Innovation Dilemma: Open Up or Shut Up?

Science icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.
Image via Wikipedia

In a recent post, Where Big Companies Fail on Innovation, I argue that big companies fail to communicate well on their corporate innovation capabilities.

I believe this is a problem as most industries have begun adopting open innovation practices in which a key goal is to become the preferred partner of choice. This requires a significant higher visibility for corporate innovation departments.

Michael Fruhling and Kevin McFarthing contributed with comments in which they argue that companies can still do well with innovation – even open innovation – without communicating much about their efforts. Seguir leyendo “Innovation Dilemma: Open Up or Shut Up?”

Top 5 Innovation Trends and Issues

What is happening in the innovation community right now? In this post, I give a quick overview of the top trends and issues that I see based on the interactions I have had over the last month or so.

1. Intrapreneurship

How can we establish – or improve – programs that makes us better at identifying and developing ideas and let our own people (intrapreneurs) – turn them into revenue and profits?

I have had two requests on this within a few weeks after a long time with almost no focus on this. A new trend? Perhaps. It also comes with a new twist as some companies finally try to combine this with their open innovation efforts. Very interesting…

Check this article to get an idea of intrapreneurship programs: Driving Innovation In Large Corporations Seguir leyendo “Top 5 Innovation Trends and Issues”

Top 10 Reasons for Open Innovation Failure

Open Innovation Model, Copyright Dr. Daniel Fa...
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A recent 15inno Twitter Chat made me ponder on the worst and most common mistakes that companies do on open innovation. Here comes a list of my thoughts – still work in progress…

1. Companies do not identify proper business reasons for engaging with open innovation.

2. Companies copy competitor’s initiatives rather than creating their own unique initiatives that match their business reasons for doing open innovation.

3. Companies fail to make their employees, partners and customers understand what open innovation means to the company and they fail to explain the impact of such a new direction to the internal and external stakeholders. Seguir leyendo “Top 10 Reasons for Open Innovation Failure”

Top 5 Open Innovation Companies – July

Stefan Lindegaard

Here comes a list of my current favorite open innovation companies.

The list is by no means based on in-depth research. It is based on actions, initiatives or shared insights of these companies over the last month or so – and thus what I believe should inspire other companies.

1. GE – for leading the way with a $200 million challenge

GE shows us the future of innovation by assembling a great team of partners as well as the rest of us as they work to solve some critical issues. Their challenge is a great initiative that I will write more about in a separate post.

2. P&G – for addressing language barriers on their Connect+Develop platform

The more time I spent in places such as Brazil and China, I begin to understand the importance of having multi-language versions of open innovation initiatives. It is simply not good enough that companies with plenty of resources for unknown reasons decide not to address language issues. They miss out on interesting opportunities.

By adding Spanish and Portuguese versions to their Connect+Develop platform, which already had a Chinese version, P&G once again leads the way.

3. Siemens – for a report that provides great insights into b2b open innovation

Granted, the report is a few months old, but I still think it is an impressive presentation of open innovation initiatives in a large b2b-focused company… Seguir leyendo “Top 5 Open Innovation Companies – July”

The Chain of Experience: Jobs and Innovation

Fly or Die
Image by vaXzine via Flickr

Por jabaldaia

I enjoy it!

by Stefan Lindegaard

I really like this sentence – the chain of experience – as put forth by Andy Grove in the How to Make an American Job article in BusinessWeek.

Different Forms of Filtering Create Different Forms of Value by Tim Kastelle

Ethan Zuckerman wrote a very interesting post today called What if Search Drove Newspapers? He talks about several different initiatives designed to gauge readers’ interest in different news stories, particularly those that are currently under-reported, and then devising methods for reporting stories on these topics. He asserts (correctly, I think) that this is basically search-driven content development. In particular, this is a strategy that will work well with Google. Seguir leyendo “The Chain of Experience: Jobs and Innovation”

Control the Content: Open Innovation Dilemma

During my work with Psion on their open innovation initiatives, I noticed an interesting and perhaps troublesome development on their Ingenuity Working site.

The issue is about the content on their site and to which level a company should control this content. Last week, two of the most popular discussions on Ingenuity Working had titles such as Soccer World Cup and Show Me Your Pets. Seguir leyendo “Control the Content: Open Innovation Dilemma”

CEO Request: Bigger Products

One of my network groups for innovation leaders had an interesting Q&A session with the CEO of an 8,000 people strong company. The objective of the meeting was to get a better idea on how CEO’s view and approach innovation. We definitely met this objective.

One of the questions to the CEO was what he would like to see from the innovation people within his company. His reply came promptly: Bigger products, please.

By this, he means that he would like to cut-down on the number of products rather having a hand-full of products with big revenues than having a large portfolio of products with smaller revenues. Seguir leyendo “CEO Request: Bigger Products”

How to be Open to Unsolicited Ideas While Staying Responsive and Efficient – Insights from Clorox

The stylized Clorox logo used on Clorox bleach...
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Written by Dr. Andrew Gilicinski who leads Open Innovation Networks at Clorox, working with partners on breakthrough new products. Prior to Clorox, he worked in innovation roles at Gillette and Air Products.

For years I’ve watched open innovation evolved, impressed at the growing array of tools and capabilities. At Clorox we focused on supplier innovation relationships (Win-Balancing) for downstream “seamless” technology creation, a “Lab without Walls”. However, we’ve been slower to adopt external idea portals to engage inventors, for two reasons – time and fear. Seguir leyendo “How to be Open to Unsolicited Ideas While Staying Responsive and Efficient – Insights from Clorox”