The 6th Dimension is Open Innovation: Reflections from an Innovation Ambassador

Open Innovation is the 6th Innovation System

The 6th Dimension is Open Innovation

by Andrew Harrison; Innovation Ambassador

In the book, “The Invisible Element: A Practical Guide for the Human Dynamics of Innovation,” we outlined five general innovation systems. After being in Boston on April 1 and 2 for the American Leaders’ 2nd Annual Open Innovation Forum, it may be time to add a sixth.

Open Innovation is a growing methodology that allows for larger organizations to find expansionary to disruptive technologies and products via external resources. This helps established organizations steeped in process improvement (which is a good thing) explore risk without taking on all of the time and investment that is required to turn an out-of-our-comfort-zone idea into an actual innovation.

In his keynote presentation, Randall Wight of MIT pointed out that “innovation is arguments.” That makes very good sense, especially based on the two main themes that I saw during the conference:

  1. Large entities are hungry for new and disruptive innovations, but are struggling to find, hear and/or fund these types of projects internally.
    1. Therefore, they are looking to open innovation and crowd sourcing as ways to try and meet their disruptive needs.
  2. When it comes to IP, the importance of collaboration, “arguing” and most importantly, finding win-wins between corporate, start-up and academia, is still an evolving process.

I thought David Ross from General Dynamics had an excellent share in his closing presentation when he said, innovation is “brilliant idea and brilliant execution.” I couldn’t agree more. While there is no formula or science for combining the two, the more you can understand the invisible elements of innovation, the better you stack your innovation odds.

The connections we made and the lessons we learned will help all of us along the innovation journey. My time in Boston was well worth it.

 

Idea Connection System’s Innovation Ambassador, Andrew Harrison attended the American Leaders 2nd Annual Open Innovation Forum in Boston in April 2015.  ICS partnered with American Leaders as the  exclusive Knowledge Partner for this intimate gathering of Open Innovation industry leaders.  All delegates were provided a complementary Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator® (ISPI™); as a additional value for attending.   If you attended this Forum and need help redeeming your complementary Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator®; please contact our Innovation Ambassador, Andrew Harrison

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