Chapter 19

Open innovation

Historically, most firms have treated innovation as a highly proprietary activity – they have kept their development projects secret and filed lots of patents to protect their intellectual property. Today, the buzzwords are ‘open innovation’ – which is about using ideas and people from outside your firm’s boundaries to help you develop new products and technologies, as well as sharing your own technologies with external parties on a selective basis.

When to use it

  • To help you develop new products and services more quickly.
  • To tap into opportunities and ideas outside your firm’s boundaries.
  • To commercialise ideas and intellectual property you have no use for.


As with many hot ideas, the concept of open ...

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