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Evidence that Open Innovation and Enterprise 2.0 become one

In the past, innovation-3 has observed from work done with its clients and discussions with leading firms (see e.g. here and here) that the management concepts of Open Innovation and Enterprise 2.0 are merging. More and more firms see these concepts as two sides of one medal and are taking a holistic approach that integrates both concepts in order to increase their innovation strength.

Recently, we ran across some figures from Forrester Research showing that innovation-3’s observations based on some 30 firms we are working with are also valid on a greater stage.

In spring 2012, Forrester Research did a study on more than 200 firms, 58% of respondent organizations were in the US, 23% in Germany, and 19% in the UK. A wide variety of industries were represented, including the public sector and government, with no single industry accounting for more than 12% of the total sample. By design, the Forrester study was targeted at large organizations. Forrester’s was receiving questionnaires from and was speaking to contact persons at director level (69%) and at VP level (31%).

An interesting first insight Forrester generated was by asking, what makes up Open Innovation: “Please rate the extent to which you see the following initiatives as characteristic of Open Innovation”. It is not very surprising that the studied firms voted with around 80% (“strongly agree” and “agree”) that “collaboration within partner networks” and “problem/solver networks” are defining pieces of Open Innovation. However, almost two thirds of the studied firms see “social collaboration initiatives” as part of Open Innovation as well.

What is really surprising for many practitioners and people interested in Open Innovation is the data provided on why firms are doing Open Innovation. Forrester asked “Why has your firm invested in /  allocated resources to Open Innovation?” The answer most frequently given was “to solve business challenges that we can’t solve internally” with a 60% agreement. However at the same level of agreement one finds “to foster more collaboration internally” and “to leverage diverse talent resources – internally and externally”.

This is a strong confirmation on the issues that we are working on with our clients. innovation-3 is currently working on an article (to be published in September 2012) that will explore the merging of Open Innovation and Enterprise 2.0.