13img Advancing Open Innovation

The pace of innovation will increase when innovators learn to harvest interactively from the incredible amount of information out there.

—Jorgen Randers1

Engaging Smart People in Your Innovation Effort

The concept of open innovation, the fourth essential element of the innovation infrastructure, is well documented in a number of fine books, and is widely practiced by organizations all over the world. The underlying principle is that by opening up the innovation process to broader participation by outsiders (that is, anyone who's not part of your organization), you'll be able to engage a larger number of smart people in thinking about and solving your problems and creating new opportunities.

Open innovation is a compelling term that evokes the promise of profound and confident success, whereas its opposite—closed innovation—brings the impression of silos, fear-based decision making, and failure to leverage the power of networks. So how could anyone question the wisdom of opening up innovation?

For some organizations, open innovation means partnering with universities and other research organizations to address specific technical or organizational challenges. They use open innovation services such as InnoCentive and NineSigma to access large pools of technical experts who help them solve scientific, technology, and business questions.

Open innovation ...

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