Based on the positive feedback from this webcast, we decided to host a conversation between Stefan and regular opensource.com contributor Chris Grams regarding the ways open source and open innovation are different and the things they share.
To learn more about open innovation, visit Stefan’s 15inno blog.
Collaboration & Sharing
CHRIS: In the open source world, we always come back to collaboration and sharing as key principles. These days, many organizations would say they have collaborative cultures (or aspire to, at least), but where the open source way really shines is in its ability to inspire people to collaborate beyond the boundaries of their own organization.
It strikes me that the open innovation world also encourages people to reach beyond the walls of their organization as well, but if I were to point out one key difference, it would be that in the open innovation world, collaboration is clearly transactional or even contractual. You give on the promise of receiving in return.
STEFAN: You are right about this. Big companies engage with open innovation because the combination of their internal resources and the external resources provides more innovation opportunities that they can feed their corporate engines with. They want to increase revenues and profits, and they definitely put this focus first rather than “just” trying to do good things.
[Read the rest of this post on opensource.com]
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Molly Dix and Jeff Cope, who run the Open Innovation Advisory Services group at RTI. For those not familiar with RTI, it is one of the world’s preeminent research institutes, founded by a group of scientists in 1958 and now employing almost 3000 people helping businesses and governments in more than 40 countries around the world.
I thought it was pretty cool to learn that an organization of RTI’s size and position in the research world has a group dedicated to open innovation. I asked Molly if she’d be willing to let me ask her a few questions about the way she and RTI see open innovation.
My questions, and her answers, below.
CHRIS: Open innovation is one of those terms that everyone seems to see a bit differently. How would you define open innovation?
MOLLY: We see open innovation as a perspective whereby an organization is open to building on thinking, research, and intellectual property (IP) from outside their organization, as well as being open to partnerships with outside organizations related to their own research and IP.
Thus, open innovation is a 360-degree mindset that includes both technology pull and push as avenues to improve the speed and quality of research, development, and product launch. Successful partnerships are at the core of successful open innovation.
[Read the rest of this interview on opensource.com]
On Wednesday, September 1, opensource.com will be hosting a webcast with Stefan Lindegaard, one of the world’s leading experts on open innovation.
We see a lot of commonalities between the open source way and the key concepts of open innovation, and thought inviting Stefan to come share his knowledge about open innovation with the opensource.com audience might be a good way to spur dialog between people in open source and open innovation communities.
In preparation for the webcast, we’ve asked Stefan five questions about subjects he may cover in more detail on September 1.
CHRIS: Early in your book, The Open Innovation Revolution, you share an idea that came out of one of your discussions with innovation leaders: “Embracing the outside requires that you know the inside.” Why do you think companies struggle so much to understand their own internal innovation model? How does this hinder their ability to pursue open innovation strategies?
STEFAN: Companies have chronic issues making innovation happen internally. This has many reasons. Executives might not fully understand innovation, the organization is not trained for innovation or there is just not enough focus on how to make innovation happen. On the latter, I can add that only very few companies actually have an innovation strategy that is aligned with the overall corporate strategy.
If you want to bring in external partners to your innovation process, these partners expect that you have order in your own house. If you fail to work efficiently with these partners nothing happens in terms of outcome. Even worse, the word spreads that you are not a good innovation partner and thus you will have a harder time attracting future partners.
Some companies believe that if they just embrace open innovation, then all their internal innovation issues will be solved. This will not happen. Open innovation is not a holy grail.
[Read the rest of this post on opensource.com]
Last weekend I watched The Botany of Desire. In this PBS documentary I streamed off Netflix, Micheal Pollan (the foodie hero who brought us The Omnivore’s Dilemma, a book also called The Botany of Desire, and the documentary Food, Inc.) examines the natural history of the spread of four plants: apples, tulips, potatoes, and marijuana, but with a twist– he tells the story from the plants’ point of view.
Man, I love stuff like that. By switching the perspective, Pollan is able to show how each of these plants has manipulated humans into propagating it far and wide throughout the world. For example, apples are indigenous to the mountains of Kazakhstan and potatoes to Peru, but now both can be found pretty much everywhere. And wait ’til you watch the section about marijuana, a plant that has managed to get many humans to raise it better than their own children.
I thought it might be interesting to take Pollan’s trick, but rather than apply it to plants, apply it to ideas. Get all anthromorphic and consider how ideas get us to spread them.
There are tons of people out there looking at how ideas spread, probably most famously/recently Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point. But what if, for a second, we take the perspective that the ideas might be using us the same way flowers use bees.
Early in human history, ideas weren’t particularly good at getting us to do their bidding. Heck, the idea for inventing paper first showed up in Egypt over 5000 years ago, and it couldn’t even get humans to take it one continent away to Asia. The idea for inventing paper appeared in China independently about 3500 years after it appeared in Egypt, according to what Wikipedia tells me.