I was pleased to attend Enterprise 2.0 Innovate on the West Coast for the first time. It occurrred November 12 – 15 in the Santa Clara Convention Center. Here my notes from this year’s Enterprise 2.0 2012 conference in Boston. Here are my notes from the session: Open Innovation: Making the Best of Collective Intelligence in a Socialized Enterprise, led by Andrew Filev, Founder, Wrike Inc. Here is the session description.
“Why limit innovation to just a few dedicated professionals if you can involve input from many more creative individuals at various stages of the innovation process? The open innovation model is one of the areas where collective intelligence is leveraged in the most prominent way. This session will observe why open innovation has the potential to become the more competitive innovation for your organization.
The opportunity to plug into the best talents and their revolutionary ideas regardless of geography and cultural differences, increasing cost-efficiency of your R&D, facilitating quicker feedback loop – these and many other advantages of open innovation model will be analyzed at the session by Andrew Filev, who, in addition to being the CEO of an innovative software company, is the founder of an international robotics challenge team. Focusing on some success stories from the IT space and his own experience of implementing the open innovation model, Andrew will pinpoint some recommendations of making the most of collective intelligence in your organization.”
Andrew began by defining open innovation. It was term by Henry Chesbrough at Berkley in 2003 as a paradigm that assumes that firms should use internal, as well as external ideas. Innovation extends from the core team to other departments and external collaborators. Possible collaborators include: research firms, universities, suppliers, end users, independent professionals, and other industry players.
Damon Gragg from ThermoFisher Scientific spoke next. He is a global software manager for the firm. It serves science. His team faced a challenge to re-do their processes to serve work across the organization. First, they had to collaborate well within their own internal group before they could reach out. They used triads between marketing, development, and test groups as the developed software. It gets all these key stakeholders involved up front. It helps ensure that ideas from all contributors get evaluated.
Then with internal processes in place after nine months they reached outside. They expanded the triads to include external people. This move helped make their software relevant to new markets. Then they included customers within the triads. They also created an ideas exchange. Anyone can contribute and every month cash rewards are given for the best ideas even if they are not implemented. They used APIs for customers to create their own solutions. Sometimes these customer creations were included into their general products. They adopted Wrike for project management. It is a social tool that enables collaboration across multiple sites, project tracking, internal and external visibility.
Andrew next covered the principles of open innovation. First, you gather input from outside your department and outside your company. You use external research and feedback. You find new paths to the market. You also use a more open business model. Crowd-sourcing is one example of this open innovation.
He mentioned the Netflex’s million-dollar contest for the best technology for their customer site. The Netflix Prize sought to substantially improve the accuracy of predictions about how much someone is going to enjoy a movie based on their movie preferences. On September 21, 2009 they awarded the $1M Grand Prize to team “BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos”. Their site said you can read about their algorithm, checkout team scores on the Leaderboard, and join the discussions on the Forum.
There are catalysts in the business space that drives openness. These include an expansion of remote work and the increasing mobility of workers. Another is the rise of social tools in the enterprise. Globalization is another related trend as is growing market competition. Open innovation has been embraced by many companies. For example, Proctor and Gamble has over 1,000 innovation partners. Lufthansa has an annual open competition to improve their air cargo work that received over 200 submissions. I would add Cisco’s I-Prize competition.
Andrew gave examples from his company. They work closely with their customers to get new ideas. Their customer support team collects ideas. There is a platform for customers to suggest ideas and people can vote on these ideas. They do customer surveys and have website feedback forms. There is private beta testing. They use APIs for integrations. They make use of user driven translations to make their product locally relevant.