Author Archives: Stefan Lindegaard

Open Innovation + Rapid Incubation = Power

Recently, I have read several interesting articles on how companies develop new projects based on rapid incubation or fast prototyping practices. Anthony Townsend, Director of Technology Development at the Institute for the Future wrote about rapid incubation and lightweight innovation models in this article, Moving Beyond Open Innovation. I agree with Townsend that the approaches he touches upon seem to work best for smaller web or software-based companies, but the potential is intriguing for almost any kind of company. In the article, What Start-Ups Can Teach Big Companies, Steve Lohr looks into the concept of “lean start-ups”. He describes this as: “The lean start-up model exploits the inexpensive, nimble technologies of open-source software and the Web to accelerate the pace of testing new ideas, finding customers and learning from mistakes, through constant trial and error.” Companies will encounter many challenges in order to make these approaches work (Townsend lists several … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Open Innovation | Leave a comment
Why Talent Needs External Connections

The May issue of Fast Company had an interesting column by Dan and Chip Heath. They looked into the thinking of Boris Groysberg, a Harvard Business School professor who is due with a new book, Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance. In this book, Groysberg argues that talents and star performers – the case in the column focuses on Wall Street analysts – do not only rely solely on their own skills and capabilities, but also on resources made available to them inside their firms in order to make great things happen. These Wall Street analysts were not as portable as expected. They could not just switch to another firm and perform as they used to since they are more dependent than initially expected on the internal infrastructure. Groysberg did find an exception; women. The reasoning is that as Wall Street is an alpha-male culture, … Continue reading

Posted in Management, Open Innovation, Psychology | Leave a comment
Why Top-Down is a Better Approach for Open Innovation

Imagine a company that is taking a different approach on innovation. They want to be more pro-active and they want to work with external partners. So they identify 10 companies they have not yet worked with, they research on these companies and then they get ready to approach these companies in order to present and discuss potential ways of making innovation happen together. This is a real case and the next question is important: Where should the first contact take place? One option is with the people on the ground as such a bottom-up approach gives you better access to the people who actually do the work. Another option is a top-down approach where you go as high as you can. I think most will agree that the latter is the best approach. Let me share a few reason for this. Getting in touch with lower-ranked employees can get you … Continue reading

Posted in Open Innovation | 1 Comment
Silos and Innovation - Break Down or Work Around?

“How do you break down internal silos in order to improve at innovation? Open innovation – or any kind of innovation – suffers with silos. What are your insights and experiences on this issue?”I posted these questions in the 15inno by Stefan Lindegaard group on LinkedIn about a month ago. We got 28 comments with lots of great advice. (Click on Discussions in the group if you want to read this). I have been looking through these comments a couple of times as I wanted to write a blog posts with an excerpt on this.This has not yet happened and one reason is that I have begun thinking differently about silos and their impact on innovation.Perhaps we do not have to break down silos to drive more innovation. Perhaps we should just accept the silos and work around the issues they can create on innovation. Perhaps open innovation will change … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Open Innovation, culture | 1 Comment
Can Social Media Tools Hinder Innovation?

What happens with innovation if executives and managers begin to fear social media tools like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook – and perhaps even LinkedIn?I wonder how big this issue really is after having read about a survey from Chef.se, a Swedish website for executives and managers. It showed that an increasing number of executives and managers are afraid ending up – involuntary – on the above sites. Furthermore, 18% said that they know of incidents where employees had posted in-appropriate or false information about their companies using social media tools.I have always sensed some reluctance towards the new social media tools from the upper ranks. Unfortunately, it becomes somewhat understandable with the above information although I still believe benefits such as faster communication and better reach clearly outweigh drawbacks that tend to evolve on loss of control issues.Perhaps this is not such a big thing today, but it might grow in … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Social Media | 3 Comments
Guiding Principles of Open Innovation - Communication

I have just attended a great conference by 100% Open, a new agency specializing in open innovation. They have an interesting Jam & Discover approach to open innovation and they also run networks and do training and venturing.At the conference, I picked up a new report: Open innovation – From marginal to mainstream. In this report they have some great guiding principles on communication and I’ve shared them below because I believe they are worth sharing.100% Open Guiding Principle on Communication:Many large organisations are trying to become open innovators by first trying to change their culture. Whilst this is rational, it rarely seems to work. Companies will often change their ways of doing things more happily and spontaneously if the see first-hand evidence of colleagues adopting a new approach and it working. Success sells.Communicate with the outside world effectively. We’ve see many a large organisation get so wrapped up in … Continue reading

Posted in Open Innovation | Leave a comment
Open Innovation Frustration

Last week, I held a workshop in which a couple of the participants – all from the same company – had some struggles finding out why they should embrace open innovation.This skepticism was not driven by satisfaction with their current innovation processes and culture. On the contrary, this seemed to be seriously flawed and creating lots of frustration within their organization.So you should think they would be open to changes in their approach. They were not. I think their main reason for being skeptical came as they understood that open innovation requires a lot of hard work, while also bringing with it the uncertainty that usually follows change.Even more importantly, they could see this will not happen in their organization if they do not have the full support of their executives to go open. They do not have this. The executives did talk about going open, but they had not … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Leadership, Open Innovation | 2 Comments