Open innovation might seem synonymous with tech giants, but can provide serious bottom-line benefits to organizations large and small in a variety of industries.
The practices associated with open innovation promote a consistent flow of new ideas from the diverse groups of individuals and parties connected to an organization. From front-line employees and managers to customers and suppliers, open innovation makes it easier for great ideas to flow throughout the organization for continuous feedback and implementation.
Open innovation makes it possible to run a truly creative and engaging workplace. While highly dependent on transparency and effective communication, its practices provide a variety of benefits.
Here are just a few benefits an organization can realize with varying degrees of open innovation.
Open up to new Perspectives – Hear from front-line employees or customers previously isolated from improvement initiatives.
Promote Continuous Improvement – Discover new ways to operate more efficiently across the organization, from people in those departments and markets.
Promote Collaboration – Encourage cross-departmental problem solving for actionable feedback and validation among employees.
Reduce R&D Costs – Leverage casual brainstorming and collaboration sessions to formulate new ideas and solutions.
Differentiate from Competition – Ideate company-wide vs. the segmented R&D teams of the competition.
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Discover new Products and Services – Engage everyone to spark new ideas for product and service offerings.
Cut Operational Costs – Management is not solely responsible for identifying inefficiencies.
Mitigate Risks – Expand the collection and review processes of more ideas, more often, not just a select few.
Get to Market Quicker – Ideate, review, test, and launch more ideas faster than traditional R&D.
Improve Employee Engagement – Offer employees innovation opportunities outside of their core responsibilities.
Build a Customer Community – Engage and collaborate with customers for their feedback and improvement ideas.
Boost Public Image – Collaborate with parties outside the organization and reward them for coming up with new ideas.
Open innovation doesn’t come without its struggles. Adjusting operations and culture to promote transparency can be a struggle for management, as well as the actual collection and review of the hopefully large influx of new ideas.
Transparency in open innovation is dependent on identifying goals and sharing them with your organization. From boosting revenue or cutting costs, provide context by describing the situation and the types of ideas you’re looking for.
For ideas, innovation management software and phone number management software can make it easier to engage your employees and customers, promote collaboration among them, and streamline the review process on one platform. Without these powerful tools, you can still promote open innovation but through traditional means like standard brainstorming sessions and idea collection in Excel, though the benefits will be limited.
Overall, the pursuit of open innovation within your organization doesn’t have to be difficult, and the benefits are apparent. From reducing turnover through higher employee engagement to surfacing new ideas for products and services, open innovation can be a game-changer for family-owned organizations and publicly traded corporations alike.
Ready to promote and manage open innovation? Check out this free, 2-minute video.