Open Innovation models – which approach to choose for implementation?
Open Innovation becomes a remedy when an answer to a technological or scientific question can not be found internally in a company, when outsourcing the answer or the solution is the best way to go. But what are the best Open Innovation models for finding this external solution?
One can think of many commonly cited practices such as using specialized consultants, setting up a technology watch or scouting team, participating in specialized conferences to meet specialists, using an Open Innovation platform (but which one ?), use his professional social network or simply use his favorite search engine … All these solutions are good, the choice of the most effective solution will depend on the context.
3 questions to take the right decision
To make the right decision, you will have to answer three questions (in this order):
- Do we really need outside help?
- Is our budget limited?
- Are deadlines tight?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you can already consider using an Open Innovation platform !
Do we really need outside help?
If the answer to the first question is negative, it is because internal resources are competent and available. No reason to go elsewhere, except of course if a second opinion or an external alternative can bring value.
Is our budget limited?
If your budget is not limited (second question), the best option is probably to call on a firm of innovation consultants you trust. You will enjoy a quality service, probably fast enough. On the other hand, they protect their know-how (there will be no transfer of skills, so next time it will be necessary to solicit them again) and the cost will be high. Setting up a scouting team can be a good alternative if the volume of projects is important, but it will take time.
Are deadlines tight?
If your budget is limited but you have time (third question), crowdsourcing platforms are interesting: they can generate many options at reasonable cost, sometimes very original ones. However, they also cause internal costs that can become important when sorting and evaluating ideas. And the result is not guaranteed, it is better that your problem is not too complex. Using your social network is also interesting, but for a random result: what is the quality of your network in the topic of interest ? There remains the classic search engines: everything is probably there, but rarely what you are looking for when it comes to innovation, or without guarantee to have come across the best result. They are simply not designed for innovation issues and are likely to be … a waste of time.
Finally, if the answers to all the questions above are positive: need of help, limited budget, tight deadlines, an Open Innovation platform like the one we have developed has important advantages: it will allow a real appropriation of the competency in Open Innovation, guided by the tool. It guarantees a controlled number of results from collective intelligence. And of course it responds to imperatives of limited costs and time, and will be more effective as the number of projects increases.
In this Guide below, you will discover the list of options to consider, their pros and cons, how to choose the best Open Innovation models for your company, and a practical way forward.