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Report from the OI Masterclass – Part II

We then went on and discussed about the basic factors for successful OI, i.e. having a clear Intellectual Property approach and finding / managing external innovators. In this context I showed my proven approach to cross-industry innovation that helps in finding innovation partners from other industries. What surprised most of the participants in this section is that there are clear and proven methods for finding new innovation partners within the own industry and from other industries.

The next section was called “Strategy”. In it I showed how OI and innovations strategy are to be linked and how the firm can find its most effective portfolio of OI approaches. In this context we also discussed some 30 different approaches to OI that  currently are applied by leading firms. At the end of the seminar a number of participants said that having a clear method for defining where OI should be done and which approach is most beneficiary in which situation was a highlight of the Masterclass.

After that we discussed  OI processes, structures and management. A generic OI process landscape was accepted rather soon but there were intensive discussions on whether OI should a structural component (i.e. an “OI team”) and what the roles of this structure should be or if OI should be an embedded capability of the organization. In the end we stated that both approaches are valid and have their pro arguments – the choice might depend on the specific culture and/or the maturity of the (open) innovation culture.

This result brought us to the next section which was on Culture and Culture Change. There was a great energy in listening and debating on the characteristics of the OI culture and role models for OI leaders. What really brought the practitioners then back again was a discussion on the 10 success factors for OI Culture Change that I distilled out of recent projects. These seem to stand the test of discussions. Very well received were also the hints on “Small steps for Culture Change – What you could do tomorrow”.

The Masterclass ended with a discussion on how open approaches to innovation and collaborative styles of innovation might look like in 5 to 10 years from now. There was unanimous consent that we are entering a new generation of innovation management – but in the end 4 possible scenarios were worked out of the “OI road ahead”.