Open Innovation is a completely new approach to problems in innovation management. External knowledge sources are more strongly integrated into future strategies and offer companies great potential in product and process development. By the different focus of the different participants efficient and on the problem aligned ideas can develop faster and be converted. It depends on the right balance between internal and external idea providers.

 

External participants – the core of Open Innovation

But how do you find the right participants and how do you communicate the ideas within the company? Within the company, one often represents similar behaviour patterns and ways of thinking, stronger or weaker. These values are important to keep a corporate culture alive, but they also pose major hurdles. The external view helps companies to look beyond their own horizons in the open innovation process and to identify possible mistakes early on.

Who is the right participant ultimately determines the business model. Are they stakeholders or customers? Which approach would you like to take with the new ideas and which technologies or thought patterns are needed for this? Before starting an Open Innovation process, you must therefore consider which potential participants are particularly suitable for your company and which can bring a breath of fresh air into old company structures. The business model is therefore a key element of the Open Innovation method.

 

Handling ideas

If you have the right composition of participants, you usually get one thing: ideas. After an Open Innovation Workshop or a long consulting process you have a real pool of good ideas, but this quantity is only the tip of the iceberg, because now they have to be checked for usefulness and implementability.

The most frequently occurring challenges of Open Innovation are therefore not necessarily related to the ideas, but to how these ideas are developed, communicated and implemented.

Although Open Innovation is a great way to get an outside view of the company, in the end the employees inside the company have to be convinced of the relevance of the innovations. They must be integrated into the development process at an early stage and themselves gain an insight into the significance of external ideas. Only when the entire company understands the relevance of collaboration with external idea providers can one really become an innovative and dynamic company and prepare for the future.

 

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