The pace of evolution on the intersection between open innovation and social media is astonishing and companies need to pay lots of attention to where things are headed.
P&G and their Connect+Develop initiative is rightfully considered one of the best examples of open innovation implementation and I especially like their “behind the scenes” efforts and how they and constantly try to improve their efforts.
Despite their good work, I think P&G’s Connect+Develop site (and sites of other companies) need to evolve into next generation sites that include more community features. Three companies give us an idea of what direction things are headed although they are still in their earlier phases themselves.
GE and their Ecomagination challenge showcases lots of social media features, Psion and their Ingenuity Working portal is developing into an interesting destination site not only for Psion, but also for other companies interested in rugged handheld computers and SAP Co-Innovation Lab Network seems to develop a wealth of interesting information which can benefit others than just SAP.
What I like about these initiatives is that they are setup for interactions, conversations. They help create forums where everyone can learn from each other while giving the host companies some interesting opportunities to capitalize on the all this interactions – if they manage to setup up systems and processes to extract this value.
I think that it is no longer just about showing needs and assets on open innovation sites – companies need to go social and create interaction and involvement in communities. If you want to be the partner of choice in your ecosystem, this is the direction to pursue.
The intersection between open innovation and social media tools is interesting as it brings new opportunities. Furthermore, there is a huge lack of knowledge and experience on how to do this so companies that are willing to experiment to learn and develop have the potential to reap important advantages over competitors who are slower to adapt these important new open innovation tools.
I really look forward to see how companies will do this and I plan to capture such insights and learnings and use this for my upcoming book on the intersection of open innovation and social media.
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