Friday, June 16, 2006

Open Innovation Blueprint: Commandment 3

This continues my on-going blog on mapping out a blueprint for implementing Open Innovation. The first entry in this series talked about the framework I am using to analyze this question, the Ten Commandments of Change Management. Open Innovation is a big change, and therefore requires a change management program. In today's blog, I'll cover the third element of the framework:

3. Separate from the past
Those of you in large corporations across the world who are dabbling in Open Innovation, I salute you, you are revolutionaries pursuing a noble cause that will accelerate innovation for everyone’s benefit. By thinking like a revolutionary you will find ways to help your followers separate from the past. For instance, revolutionaries give their cause a name. They pack all of their ideas into one concise label that advances their cause through word of mouth. If you declare that your effort to institutionalize Open Innovation will be called the Innovation Renovation Project, sooner or later you’ll overhear chatter at the water cooler like “Hey Pat, did you hear about the Innovation Renovation Project?...No Greg, it sounds exciting, what is it and what does it mean for our business unit?”

A word of advice: don’t do a big layoff and then launch Open Innovation. The economy needs more (not fewer) bright ideas from the world’s R&D people; Open Innovation is about making the walls of R&D labs more permeable, allowing ideas to flow to the place where they can make the biggest impact. That’s why it’s important to start Technology Marketing at the same time that you start Technology Scouting. It shows that you’re committed to putting technology back into the global pool. Make it clear that Open Innovation is not about outsourced R&D but about synergistic exchange of ideas.

I'll mention again, in the spirit of being open, all of these ideas are open for discussion, so please share your thoughts!

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