It started out with the globalization wave in which international companies rushed to developing countries in order to reap the benefits of cheap manufacturing. Over time, they learned that it was not enough to just manufacture products on the cheap. They also had to utilize local minds as they often had to adapt their offerings to the local markets.
In turn, this gave us 24-7 innovation as innovation now happens everywhere rather than just at the corporate headquarters. We even got a new term, reversed innovation, as products and services intended for developing markets now find their way to developed markets.
Then, we got the open innovation movement which really started to pick up speed about 10 years ago when Procter & Gamble began working on their Connect + Develop initiative and Chesbrough shared his thoughts on open innovation. Today, this is the big buzz on innovation as many companies try to find their way to increase the external input to their innovation processes.
The next phase, which I believe has just started is how social media will add power to the innovation efforts. The whole world has become one big community and there are lots of benefits for the companies that figure out how to use social media tools and services to bring better innovation to market faster. A key thing is to enable partners – and potential ones – to connect with each other not just in the real world, but also virtually.
The open and social media phases that we are currently experiencing still have a long way to go. It will probably take 5-10 years before these new ways of approaching innovation have been universally accepted across continents and industries. This will bring lots of challenges and opportunities to companies, service providers and consultants.
So we went throught the global phase and we are still very busy with the open and social media phases. Thus it might be a bit pre-mature, but I really wonder what will be the next mega-trend that will change how we innovate.
What do you think?
image credit: americanhealth
Stefan Lindegaard is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation.