More and more executives are experimenting with open innovation initiatives. Stefan Lindegaard outlines some potential knock-on effects—both good and bad. Here is an excerpt from his article appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek magazine (June 10, 2010). To read the complete article and to sign up for free email alerts from Bloomberg, please visit: http://www.businessweek.com/print/innovate/content/jun2010/id2010063_908184.htm.
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Open is a new paradigm shift that has been steadily gaining attention from executives in the past few years. Successfully adopted by companies such as Procter & Gamble (PG), General Mills (GIS), and Intuit (INTU), open innovation is about bridging internal and external resources and executing on the innovation opportunities that arise from this combination.
Open innovation will not only lead to new ways of making innovation happen; there will also be side effects. As an open innovation advocate, I think most of these effects will be positive. But it’s also reasonable to expect that some will be mixed or perhaps even negative. Here, then, is a handy checklist of some of the possible ramifications from adopting and executing open innovation.
[Lindegaard identifies and briefly discusses ten. Here are the first four.]
• Open innovation is about managing change.
While some executives are open to change, most seem to prefer to keep things just as they are. A risk of disturbing the status quo is inherent in the open innovation process—and should be recast as opportunity. The winners will be the companies and executives that are best at handling this.
• As a company matures, executives often end up focusing more on internal needs than on those of the market.
Before long, that focus can turn a corporation into its own worst enemy. Innovating with partners can remind corporate leaders to keep their eye on funneling resources toward serving real commercial needs. This mindset can be helpful way beyond the innovation process.
• Beyond the benefit of ensuring that companies remain focused on the marketplace, working with external partners means executives become familiar with other ways of getting things done.
Open innovation also allows corporate leaders to evaluate their practices in light of other real-world examples. Then they can gauge whether (and how) to adjust their processes or perhaps even develop entirely new ways of doing things.
• Increased focus on customers can be harnessed through open innovation and can lead to better relationships with them.
Sure, there are dangers in listening too closely to existing consumers, who might just ask for an improvement to an existing product or service rather than imagining a new way of doing something. But closer ties to brand evangelists can change the role of sales and marketing units. Those groups need to be involved with innovation initiatives, too, so this is a healthy side effect.
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Stefan Lindegaard is a Copenhagen-based speaker, network facilitator, and adviser on open innovation and intrapreneurship. He is the author of the book, The Open Innovation Revolution, published by John S. Wiley & Sons (2010). I suggest you check out Chuck Frey’s excellent review of it at http://www.innovationtools.com/Weblog/innovationblog-detail.asp?ArticleID=1496.
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Roger Ebert’s name is synonymous with movie reviews. Many of us remember him bantering with Gene Siskel on the TV shows Sneak Previews and At the Movies. But he doesn’t banter much anymore. He lost his ability to speak due to complications of thyroid cancer in 2006.
Ebert may have lost the lower part of his jaw, but he hasn’t lost his voice. He continues to receive new acclaim and appreciation for the quality and feeling of his writing in books, newspaper reviews, and criticism.
It shows a deep sense of character. But it also shows a few other valuable traits we as content creators would be wise to develop in ourselves.
[Note: Here are two of the five lessons that Dykeman discusses.]
Keep a sense of humor
I’m sure Ebert must have some bad days. He can’t speak, eat, or drink.
But it never affects the quality of his writing. His words continue to sparkle and shine with life.
He receives continual praise for the power of his insights and the humor sprinkled within his work. Ebert’s recent criticism of Glenn Beck shows that his wit and sensibility are still strong. He doesn’t go for the laugh-out-loud moment, but he uses sharp observation and quiet humor to pull the reader in, as he does in The London Perambulator.
Lesson: There is little in life that’s more valuable (to you and to your readers) than a sense of humor.
Focus on what you can do well
Ebert was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer before becoming a famous film critic. Some people think his writing is even better since he lost the ability to speak. His ability to analyze and reflect on movies (or virtually any topic) is strong. He writes in a way that reaches both the average person and his peers.
Ebert is rarely in front of cameras any more (his recent appearance on Oprah is a memorable exception), but he remains a prolific writer. He uses notepad and pen to communicate in person and the keyboard for larger audiences, and he communicates constantly.
Profiled recently in Esquire magazine (http://www.esquire.com/features/roger-ebert-0310), Ebert offered up a journal entry to explain the power of writing:
“When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.”
Lesson: Be thankful for what you can do well. Do it as long and as vigorously as you can.
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To read the complete article, check out all the other resources, and/or sign up for a free subscription, please visit http://www.copyblogger.com/.
Mark Dykeman is the founder and main brain of Thoughtwrestling (http://thoughtwrestling.com/blog/about/), a blog devoted to developing ideas and bringing them to life. He is the author of the award-winning blog Broadcasting Brain (http://broadcasting-brain.com/). His work has appeared in numerous blogs, including Mashable (http://mashable.com/), Dumb Little Man, Pick The Brain, Copyblogger, and more.
Many years ago, I traveled – a lot. It really was too much.
A friend of mine once told me that it takes three days to take a one day trip: one day to get ready (actually getting ready, and thinking about the trip getting ready); then the day you take the trip; then the third day, back at home, unwinding from the trip. So, a one day trip is a three day hit on productivity.
That hit is deadly.
Well, here is a blog post (in its entirety), from Jason Fried, one of the 37Signals/ReWork guys. (Internal links are from Fried). It is worth reading:
The pleasure of an open schedule Jason F. Jun 10
For the past few months I’ve been traveling every week or every other week. The travel has been primarily for public speaking events – conferences, workshops, book signings, etc. It’s been fun, but it comes at a very high cost: A chaotic schedule.
We’ve written (and spoken) at length about the pitfalls of interruption at work. Every interruption cuts your work day into a series of work moments. 45 minutes here, then a meeting. A hour there, then a conference call. 20 minutes until someone taps you on the shoulder or calls your name across the office. These events kill productivity.
Most of these interruptions are experienced at a micro level. They’re experienced during a day. But I’ve found the same thing holds true on a macro level. If you stretch your time scale out to weeks or months, a day trip here or a couple days away there has the same effect: It kills productivity. A couple days away a week is like a few meetings a day — it makes it hard to get anything meaningful done. An interruption is an interruption.
This past Monday I gave my last talk (UIE Web App Masters in Philly) until mid September when I’m at the Business Innovation Factory 6 conference. I have a few more after that for the year, but then I’m done. I’m going to retire from travel-required conference speaking for a while. It feels great.
It’s only been three days since my last talk, but knowing I have a clear schedule for many months has shifted me into a pleasantly productive mindset. I’ve gotten a ton done so far this week. There have been some projects I’ve been meaning to start for a while, but with future travel hanging over my head I couldn’t get into a groove. I’m back in a groove.
It’s a good reminder of the power of an open schedule. Just knowing you have the time helps you make the time. Time to put it to good use.
Back in my ministry days, I read a little from/about Juan Carlos Ortiz. The story goes that one Sunday, he delivered an impassioned sermon on: “Brothers and Sisters, Love one another.” Filled with Scripture, stories, pleas, arguments, he urged his folks to actually love one another more deeply. The following Sunday, he stood up to preach his sermon, and here it was, in its entirety:
“Brothers and Sisters, love one another.”
Then he sat down. After an awkward silence, with the congregation a little confused, a member of his church called out, “Brother Ortiz, we are waiting to hear your sermon.” Preacher Ortiz rose to the pulpit, and said:
“When you actually love one another, as I preached last week, then I will preach my next sermon.”
Whether the story is true or not, I certainly get the point. It is certainly a true to the real world story.
We read a book filled with good ideas. We think of ways to change/better our work. We “decide” to do things differently. We “learn” what was in the book we read.
But maybe we need to not read any other books; we need to not read the “next book;” until we actually do what this last book we read encouraged/”taught” us to do.
Years ago, for a workshop on some subject or another, I adapted some thoughts from Peter Senge, and included these paragraphs in the handout material:
“The only job security is found in your own ability to keep learning!” (Peter Drucker)
“Through learning, we re-create ourselves.” (Peter Senge)
Learning leads to life style changes which lead to skills:
Learning is far more than taking in information. “Learning is expanding the ability to produce the results we truly want in life.” (Peter Senge)
The ultimate learning disability:
“People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence, and their growth areas.” (Peter Senge)
When have you learned?
You have learned when you can do,
and then you actually do,
the skills that are needed to take your next step.
So – yes, I do encourage you to read that next business book. This blog can help you find just the right title for your next areas of concern/growth/challenge. But maybe the wisest course of action is this one:
1) Read a book.
2) Do/implement what it says; what you learned – until it is habit.
3) Then, read the next book – and repeat the process.