When you start to think about an OI implementation program you will immediately touch culture and change issues. You should avoid by any means ending up with a program that is merely a set of training and communication activities which “make good sense”.
A large part of the implementation success depends on having a clear and solid methodology for developing a meaningful implementation program. “Meaningful” in this context means that the program is:
Targeted at the specific Change (which consists of a multitude of change aspects for a multitude of individuals)
Effective (i.e. ensures Culture Change)
Efficient (i.e. achieves this goal with minimum strains on resources and budgets)
Now, a move from “Old School” innovation to OI is a huge leap requiring fundamental changes in the way of thinking and acting from the key innovators. The Top Management needs to guide the way and to establish trust in the staff.
The staff will watch closely how the Top Management talks, walks the talk and which signs are set. All these will be interpreted as harbingers of the culture yet to come. Therefore an OI implementation program will hardly work if it is developed “by some experts” behind closed doors. The design process of your implementation program needs to reflect the spirit of openness, partnership and co-innovation the overall OI should be.
In our client’s case, a group of 40 R&D key people had access to the project site on the Intranet. This Intranet site was built on Microsoft SharePoint technologies so that access and publication could be done with low technological hurdles directly from Microsoft Office applications. This group was able to see the “work in progress” documents, to comment them and to engage in online discussions. Especially when working out the key messages for internal and external communication the group’s input proved to be extremely valuable.