Innovation

The secret to open innovation: Platform technologies

Roger La Salle /

How many of those people who are motivated to build their business on the back of innovation have come across the so-called “open innovation” model?

There are many who revel in making the simple seem complex and representing this old and widespread practice as a breakthrough in thinking with a shiny new label.

There are plenty of labels for innovation these days. They include:

> Open innovation

> Closed innovation

> Fast-failure innovation

> Front-end innovation

> Incremental innovation

> Radical innovation

> Disruptive innovation

No doubt there are plenty more. In reality, it does not matter what label you put on your innovation endeavours; it’s the outcome that is all-important. Let us put this unnecessary labelling to rest and keep it simple. Now there’s an innovation in itself.

Put simply, the word innovation means “change”, and the best definition of innovation is “change that adds value”.

This definition is founded on the simple basis of removing the single biggest risk in business – market risk – and innovation properly done achieves just that.  Enough said!

Open innovation: The alarm bells are ringing

The idea with open innovation (one that would appear obvious) is that if you don’t have the internal skills to solve a problem, then look outside the organisation. That’s open innovation, as distinct from “closed innovation”, which asks you to look inside the organisation.

However, there are some proponents of this open innovation model that suggest that we should tell the world our problems and let people come forth with solutions. This is a concept perhaps more applicable to philanthropy than business. In a business sense, how can the IP and ownership issues be managed? One can only ponder!

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