Open Innovation Process

Open Innovation (also known as External Innovation) is a strategy for sourcing emerging technologies and other intellectual property from startups, universities, think tanks, suppliers, and other partners. Having a clear Open Innovation process is essential, especially one that is directly tied to and supports your growth platforms and innovation portfolios. Use the Open Innovation app to identify external innovation partners, prioritize them, engage with them, and move them through a phased process of evaluation, from investigation to proof-of-concept to full innovation partnership.

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Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DFM/A) Overview

The Open Innovation Process is a collaborative approach to innovation that is typically embraced by organizations seeking to harness external expertise, ideas, and resources to drive their innovation efforts. It involves actively engaging with a diverse network of external partners, including customers, suppliers, research institutions, startups, and industry experts. This process is used to source, develop, and implement innovative ideas and solutions by tapping into the collective intelligence of a broader ecosystem. By opening up innovation beyond the boundaries of the organization, it brings fresh perspectives, accelerates the innovation cycle, reduces R&D costs, and increases the likelihood of successful, market-driven innovations, ultimately delivering a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DFM/A) Details

The Open Innovation Process is a strategic approach that encourages organizations to look beyond their internal boundaries and collaborate with external partners to drive innovation. It involves sourcing, developing, and implementing innovative ideas and solutions by tapping into a diverse network of external stakeholders. Below are the key elements of the Open Innovation Process:

  1. Identify External Partners: Begin by identifying potential external partners such as customers, suppliers, universities, startups, and industry experts who can contribute to your innovation goals.
  2. Idea Generation: Engage with these external partners to generate a wide range of innovative ideas, drawing from their unique perspectives and expertise.
  3. Screening and Selection: Evaluate and select the most promising ideas based on predefined criteria and alignment with strategic objectives.
  4. Collaborative Development: Collaborate with external partners to further develop and refine selected ideas into actionable projects or products.
  5. Resource Allocation: Allocate resources, including budget and personnel, to support the development and implementation of chosen innovations.
  6. Prototyping and Testing: Create prototypes or conduct pilot tests to validate the feasibility and effectiveness of the innovations.
  7. Implementation and Scaling: Gradually implement successful innovations and scale them to reach a broader market or organization-wide adoption.

The Open Innovation Process is vital because it enables organizations to leverage the collective intelligence of a diverse external network, accelerating the innovation cycle and enhancing the likelihood of market-driven, successful innovations. By tapping into external expertise, organizations can stay competitive, foster creativity, and adapt to the ever-evolving business landscape effectively. It offers a strategic advantage in a world where innovation is a key driver of growth and sustainability.

Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DFM/A) Process

Introducing the Open Innovation Process into an innovation organization is a strategic endeavor that can lead to enhanced creativity and the development of groundbreaking ideas. This process requires careful planning and execution by a project manager to ensure successful implementation. Below are the key steps to introduce the Open Innovation Process:

  1. Assessment and Readiness: Begin by assessing the organization’s current innovation culture and readiness for open innovation. Identify internal champions and potential barriers to change.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Engage key stakeholders, including leadership, innovation teams, and potential external partners. Secure buy-in by clearly communicating the benefits of open innovation.
  3. Define Objectives: Clearly define the objectives and goals of the open innovation initiative. Determine what specific challenges or opportunities the organization seeks to address through external collaboration.
  4. Partner Identification: Identify and evaluate potential external partners, such as universities, startups, or industry experts, based on their relevance to the defined objectives.
  5. Process Design: Develop a customized open innovation process that outlines how external ideas will be sourced, evaluated, and integrated into the organization’s innovation pipeline.
  6. Pilot Implementation: Launch a pilot project to test the open innovation process with a selected group of external partners and internal teams. Evaluate the effectiveness of the process.
  7. Scaling and Integration: Based on the pilot’s success, scale up the open innovation process across the organization. Ensure seamless integration with existing innovation workflows and systems.

The successful introduction of the Open Innovation Process requires a blend of strategic planning, effective stakeholder engagement, and a tailored approach to fit the organization’s unique needs. By fostering collaboration with external partners and tapping into a wider pool of ideas, innovation organizations can achieve greater creativity, agility, and competitiveness in today’s dynamic business landscape. Success factors include strong leadership support, effective communication, and the ability to adapt and refine the open innovation process based on feedback and results.

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Your Innovation Practice Lead

Soren Kaplan

Soren Kaplan has been recognized by Business Insider and Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top thought leaders in business strategy, innovation and the consulting industry. Soren is also a Wall Street Journal bestselling and award winning author of two books, an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Organizations at USC’s Marshall School of Business, a columnist for Inc. Magazine, and a globally recognized keynote speaker. He has consulted to and advised Disney, NBCUniversal, Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive, Hershey, Red Bull, 3M, Medtronic, Roche, Philips, Cisco, Visa, Nucor, McKesson, Ascension Health, Cigna, CSAA Insurance Group, the American Nurses Association, AARP, and numerous others.