The rise of open innovation

Just a little over two decades ago, engaging external stakeholders was a rare thing. Now, open innovation is trendy. Why is this? For a start, change has become the rule:

// You have to do it first and fast, all the time. Strategy life cycles have become shorter.

// Markets fluctuate; preferences and consumer behaviour change. Trends and businesses arise, grow and die faster than ever.

// The world is more and more social and interconnected. The distances between companies and individuals have become smaller. Online dynamics connect people and contexts previously inaccessible to each other.

// Value networks and ecosystems such as Linux, Facebook or Wikipedia have decreased the control of single companies by disseminating knowledge. They have created new ecosystems, decentralising and relocating the power of control and production.

// Consumers want to have their say, as the power has shifted from producers to consumers. Decentralised, non-hierarchical and inclusive of every individual, the Internet allows people with common interests to unite. Consumers have become, as never before, involved directly and indirectly, in both praise and criticism. This means not only that they can make conscious, informed decisions but also that they can contribute to the process of decision-making upstream.

// You want to attract the best. In this competitive world, you need to attract top talent and experts, as well as the most creative minds. Generation Y (people born during the 1980s or 90s) has already integrated into the labour market, with their different tech habits and life aspirations. Soon Generation Z (those born at the end of the 1990s and into the beginning of the new millennium) will follow, so you need to make sure you seize their contributions.

In addition, a centralised approach to innovation as ‘research and development’ is by now obsolete. Innovation has gone far beyond ‘the confines of research labs to users, suppliers and consumers everywhere – in government, business and non-profit organisations, across borders, across sectors and across institutions’, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Innovation has opened doors, capturing both internal and external sources of ideas.

But where does this idea originally come from? And where can it take us?

Pedro da Cunha, Exago’s co-founder/

The promise of open innovation

Open innovation and the fight for your audience

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