New Report – Open Innovation – What’s Behind the Buzzword? – i7 and Accenture

by | Jan 17, 2012

Innovation is higher than ever on companies’ agenda. 62% of executives interviewed in a recent survey say their business strategy is “largely” or “totally” dependent on Innovation. In today’s globalized competitive environment, innovation has become the key criterion by which you can assess how good a company is and how good it is likely to be in the future. To give an example of this innovation play in the emblematic mobile phone industry, Apple, RIM and HTC, the three most innovative companies in the industry, capture more than 50% of the total profit pool with less than 10% of the industry’s volume because they are ahead with innovation.

In today’s world, companies are required to innovate more and faster than ever before. Based on qualitative interviews and the latest academic thinking on the subject, Accenture and the Institute for Innovation and Competitiveness i7 created by ESCP Europe have tried to go beyond the buzzword and have investigated what actually lies behind this concept. They therefore studied 20 companies that are actively leveraging Open Innovation to boost their overall innovation performance. The sample was selected from among large international companies for whom innovation is a priority and which have extensively communicated on their Open Innovation practices for several years.

You will be surprised at their findings in this excellent report!

Conclusions in the report (as presented by the authors) are:

  1. Open Innovation is a not a new thing: more precisely an old practice (such as collaborating with other companies or research centers) which is being systematized and for which processes are setup at a strategic corporate level.
  2. Open Innovation has a fast pace of adoption: in less than 10 years it became it has been extremely well broadcast (especially when compared to other practices such as lean Six Sigma).
  3. It allows to tapp into an almost unlimited number if external sources.
  4. An Open Innovation strategy can take various shapes, the report proposes a matrix to position the Open Innovation strategy to implement in your company depending on your level of openness.
  5. The company implementing Open Innovation must define the right balance between depth and breadth of relationship with partners. In particular this depends on your capacity as a company to absorb external knowledge.
  6. If your company implements Open Innovation, you must (and if not you will) excel at the partner management process.
  7. Open Innovation is not Open Bar. There is no Open Innovation “free lunch”. You must invest to have a return on investment.
  8. Open Innovation, is not a function, it is an attitude. It is not only about appointing a “chief open innovation officer”, Open Innovation must be implemented in your company’s DNA through processes, practices, tools etc.
  9. Open Innovation has not resolved the innovation’s Bermuda triangle – what are the KPIs? It is hard to measure return on investment.
  10. Open Innovation Works: Shorter Time to Market, Not cheaper, higher company’s innovativeness, more sustainable, better IP protection.
Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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