There has been an active development of ‘open innovation’ practices, conducted independently by large corporations, or using third-party platforms and mediators. There is a kind of hierarchy of increased density of participation going from open innovation under the control of corporate plays, to more active user input processes for which the concepts of Co-Creation and Co-Design have been used in the literature.
Open Innovation refers to business processes where innovation is no longer dominated by internal mechanisms in the firm, but through the cooperation, participation and sourcing of both domestic and external inputs. This concept is used essentially for processes where the firm is still in control and at the center of the value chain. It is associated with related terms such as co-design, co- creation, and sourcing the crowd, i.e. crowdsourcing.
Being an open organization is the first essential step to efficient execution of open innovation. As we all know without input there is no output, becoming an open organization is the input needed to result in the required output, effective execution of the Open Innovation strategy; cooperation between the organization and its environment including adaptation of contributions from outside the organization.
We need an input-focused approach that guides the organization through the implementation process, which is, in fact, an enormous change for most organizations. This must contain concrete plans of action on the different levels of the (internal) organization to create the right circumstances and commitment to implement an open model in a transparent and predictable way.
Traditional vs. open innovation, Source: Chesbrough (2009) – quoted by CEPS (2010).
Component 1: parallel sub-processes
The implementation model covers the full impact that open innovation has on the (internal) organization. To divide the implementation process in logical sub-processes which can be managed parallel to each other, we distinguish people, operations, policy, and culture:
- The people process focuses on the impact on involved stakeholders (e.g. learning, networking, incentive structures, etc.).
- The operations process focuses on how both processes and infrastructure can adapt open model the best (e.g. facilitation of regular knowledge & creativity sharing, web access, job descriptions, etc.).
- The policy process focuses on identifying bottlenecks in current systems and make adjustments to support open Innovation effectively (e.g. information policy, IPR-policy, communication policy, social media strategy, etc.).
- The culture process focuses on communication and creating commitment at involved stakeholders (e.g. trust, openness, self-learning, etc.).
Using these ‘parallel’ processes makes it possible to focus (assign distinct responsibilities) and enable the subprocesses to leverage each other by synchronizing their timelines.
Component 2: phasing change
At the same time, the implementation model anticipates on the incremental structure of the change process and divides the subprocesses in little manageable steps which are aligned with the incremental structure of change.
- Unaware / incapable: the early phase where the organization has to be informed about the new directions: telling;
- aware / incapable: the phase where the organization will try out the new way of working in a safe environment to gain trust and commitment: selling;
- aware / capable: the phase where the organization will use the new way of working actively: participating;
- Unaware / capable: the ultimate phase where the organization will actually be the new way of working: delegating.
Open Innovation Chess Paradigm
This conceptual model contains all necessary elements of the implementation process. The conceptual model provides an overview on the compound matrix structure of (internal) processes progressing along the different phases of change from relatively closed to a predefined state of an open organization. It describes the persistent role of the Organizational Identity throughout the change process and the different leadership styles aligned with the subsequent phases of the change process.
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