Quite a neat article on ‘Open Innovation’ in the Summer 2008 edition of the Design Council magazine. The author, Jeff Weedman of Procter and Gamble, takes a canter through what open innovation has done for businesses.
He cites Julian Birkinshaw of the London Business School who says there is a spectrum of innovation, with open innovation at one end and closed innovation at the other. Every business, says Birkinshaw, must place itself somewhere on that spectrum but not, he warns, at either extreme.
This raises the important question: many businesses and, indeed, organisations and institutions aren’t on that ‘innovation spectrum’, so how do they take that step?
The quote also serves to underline an important point about practising innovation. The point is that a business, once on the spectrum, will then need to find a locus at which it is most effective. This position will have to change over time, and businesses must regard regular reviews of their innovation strategies as essential This is not a light undertaking and businesses will naturally deal with this requirement with varying degrees of success.
I regularly talk to my clients (in public, private and civic sectors) about their approach to using digital media to facilitate, source and communicate innovation. The pictures on individual and collective levels are revealing and I’m hoping to persuade some of them to let me produce case studies I can talk about here.
Thoughts on how to do so, or about open innovation generally, would be much appreciated.