Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Innovation Immersion - Open Innovation Model

We've just finished lunch and I had the opportunity to sit in on a great presentation by Chris Ertel from Global Business Network and Matt Marcus from Gucci, looking at open innovation and its various forms. They've presented a very nice framework for thinking about the different forms or types of open innovation.

Their framework breaks out factors of innovation along two axes. The vertical axis is customer interaction - from completely internal innovation to completely customer driven innovation. The horizontal axis is expertise - from industry or specific experts to receiving ideas from "anyone". This creates, like all good MBA analysis should, a four quadrant matrix, which GBN labeled:

Star Chamber - which is in the internal, expert quadrant. Firms in this space (and most are) aren't doing much "open" innovation and rely on internal experts to create their innovations.

Networked Innovation - which is the external, expert quadrant. This is usually the first step most firms take toward co-development with professional partners, leveraging or partnering for technology or content.

Thousand Flowers - which is the "anyone", internal quadrant. This approach encourges idea generation from everyone in the firm.

DIY - which is the "anyone", external quadrant. This approach encourages development of ideas by external customers or groups. YouTube is a good example.

There is at least one significant challenge with each approach:

Star Chamber - market input and validation
Network - IP ownership
Thousand Flowers - Managing expectations
DIY - What's the business model?

The presenter went on to say that firms should have one primary open innovation approach and may want to experiment with other approaches. Google was used as an example of a firm trying all four approaches.

This is one of the first times I've seen a holistic approach to open innovation and definitions of the various approaches, along with some discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. I hope the folks at GBN will provide more details on their research and thinking, as they've got some good baseline material and a workable framework for open innovation.
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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 1:35 PM

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