WHY MORE COMPANIES ARE EMBRACING OPEN INNOVATION

PUTTING YOUR NEEDS OUT IN THE OPEN IS SOMETIMES BETTER THAN TRYING TO INNOVATE IN-HOUSE OR IN SECRET.

Open innovation (or “OI”) didn’t used to be the way the most successful companies did business. It’s the process of searching outside a company’s walls—and even its own industry—for technology and solutions to keep it at the cutting edge. For obvious reasons, then, many businesses still find OI risky, since it means exposing their goals and projects to public view, including competitors. But more companies now believe those risks are worth taking, and open innovation has emerged as a best practice when it comes innovation. We here at NineSigma sponsored a Harris Interactive survey late last year that found 79% of executives believed their companies were effectively drawing on innovations from other industries. And 71% said they expected their companies’ investment in projects with outside innovation firms to rise in 2015.

A successful open innovation strategy doesn’t work on a piecemeal basis, though. It requires transparency, clarity, and commitment—not just from the organization looking externally for new ways to innovate but also from the partners who help companies do just that.

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