Open Innovation & Impatience: Start Innovating Already

by Lisa Thorell on January 3, 2012

A few months ago I was asked to do a keynote address on Open Innovation and Branding. So this post is basically about that keynote titled:” Start Innovating Already: A Punk View of 13 Poisons to Open Innovation”. It’s intended for new-comers to the field.

There are several mounting market reasons why Open Innovation is a high priority.

Hyper Innovation is Growing

Frighteningly, shorter and shorter product cycles threaten early commodization

much more so than can be anticipated even in the best laid product lifecycle plans.

Luckily, those just learning about Open Innovation have a bevy of online resources at their fingertips: Henry Chesbrough’s Forbes column, Twitter chat groups, discussion groups on LinkedIn, web resources like Braden Kelly’s Blogging Innovation the Open Innovators , The Open Innovation Community and Sweden’s Innovation Management websites, as well as numerous scholarly books on this important subject. A great start, of course, is the trilogy by Henry Chesbrough, the godfather of Open Innovation.

But what’s missing from these abundant resources is a more dark, edgey voice or tone, one which might galavanize a new, younger generation to heed the new strategic business imperative of adopting Open Innovation practices.

And that’s why my slidedeck is slanted slightly to the dark side – bringing in lesser discussed company stories (like that of National Public Radio (NPR) and the LA guerilla restaurant, LudoBites). These stories are each quite purposefully outside the usual OI consultant’s fare. Through the Netflix example I attempt to show how the topics of crowdsourcing, gamification, IP management and Open Challenges interweave to create a rich Open Innovation story.

In the end, the most important reason behind both my somewhat off-color title as well as the choice of case studies presented here is this: Be impatient. Be very impatient. Realise that for most companies “Innovation as a Try-on”is not an option. The companies I describe in this slidececk were highly stressed into a position of near commoditization, facing replacement by competing newer technologies and myriads of competitors and /or unable to abide by the usual market rules due to the 2008 Econolapse. (This is in fact my own experience in startup modes: You do because you must.)

So if I appear to have introduced OI in too discomforting, snarky a manner, understand that it reflects my belief that the impatience factor is under-represented in most discussions. Given the vast army of consultants in OI, (there are more scouts or planners than do’ers according to The Open Innovation Map) perhaps we just need a bit more impatience and the energy which it creates.

Perhaps we need fewer calmly stated, neutral gray business statements (eg. using words like imperative, mandate and exigency) and more frontal statements – yea, expletives- which encourage impassioned and speedy acts of Open Innovation execution.

And with that, here’s the presentation…

Start Innovating Already: 13 Poisons to Open Innovation
View more presentations from Lisa Thorell

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