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on May 28, 2011
This book is a collection of 25 articles edited by Paul Sloan.

I like article books since you can pick them up for a few minutes and return to them easily later.

First we need to define Crowdsourcing (even though the book defined open innovation first which is the flow of ideas in and out of the organization as opposed to just within it).

"Crowd Sourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by an employee and outsourcing it to an undefined larger group in the form of an open call"

To make the process work well, the project needs to be well defined. The problem description is key. And the communication process needs to be well oiled.

Much of the challenge in implementing OI is the fear of change and the "old" systems that are in place already. Most companies have a fear of letting trade secrets out the door. Many companies think if they did not invent it inside their company, it is not good.

The obvious advantage of OI is the larger number of views that can focus on the problem. Different perspectives are often great in solving any problem. When someone is too close to the problem, sometimes the fail to see the best, simplest or most obvious solution.

And of course there is an article on Intellectual Property rights. This alone might scare some companies off.

I love crowdsourcing but have some worries that we may end up trying to commodicise (its my new verb - to make into a commodity) innovation. Although this is problem for those trying to innovate, this is not why I worry about it. I worry that we may end up in a world where no one takes the time to truly think in depth about things. I know I already have that problem. I cannot remember the last time I spent full focus time for 3 hours at a time.

Crowdsourcing dramatically increases the value of analysts - the ones who can define the problem.
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on May 18, 2011
Great book featuring some of the leading minds in Innovation and Crowdsourcing all in one place.

Although each chapter is written and presented by different experts, the author has done an excellent job in framing all these varied viewpoints into a single collection by adding just enough of his own expertise to make the entire book read cohesively and smoothly.

I especially like the order that the book is divided into with chapters that take the reader starting with the basics of "What is Open Innovation?" and "What is Crowdsourcing?", onto both strategic and tactical topics such as "The Importance of a Strategic Approach to Open Innovation","Bridging Open Innovation Gaps", "Building the Culture for Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing" and many more - all the way to "Envisioning the Future of Innovation."

If you are interested in the topics of Innovation and Crowdsourcing, this book delivers the opportunity to get some of the latest expert insights on both subjects in one single volume. It also serves as a great frame of reference of "who's who" among the top Innovation thought leaders in case you are interested in researching more on those topics.
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on May 23, 2011
Having noticed my passionate blogging about innovation in customer service, Kogan Page offered me to ship A Guide to open innovation and crowdsourcing. And yes, I promised to write my thoughts and impressions.

Open innovation and crowd sourcing are amongst the hottest topics in strategy and management in the last 5 years.

The concepts of collaboration and outsourcing are fundamental to the success of open innovation and crowd sourcing.

Having a background in system development, I believe that the the concept of capturing innovative ideas for innovation in a hub of collaboration, together with the outsourcing of tasks to a large group of people or community is a logical evolution. Quality management, system development and process management are examples of business practices that heavily depend on capturing ideas from internal or external staff members.

Does this make "A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing" less relevant for me?

Some claim that Open Innovation is just a hype. Stefan Lindegaard recently wrote why the open innovation hype is good thing. As a citizen and a customer service professional I favor anything that can convince authorities management, leadership and employees to improve and innovate. And be sure, editor Paul Sloane and the advice from leading experts like Braden Kelley, Hutch Carpenter and Andrea Meyer do deliver tips, advices and examples in a - for me - convincing way.

As stated before, Jim Collins once wrote very well: "Whether you prevail or fall, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you". Neglecting open innovation and crowd sourcing as fundamental concepts (and not limited to innovation) or acting: it is up to you.

The guide offers you to explore the field and gives examples, what challenges companies met and how they were overcome. And those who are familiar with change management of personal effectiveness approaches, may find similar approaches in some of the chapters. With the valuable extension of how these concepts can be applied more effective in a networked environment or crowd sourcing approach.

One minor flaw for me is that - being a service professional - I missed the application of crowd sourcing and innovation in the service economy, customer services or professional services.

The core

"A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing" explains how to use the power of the internet to build and innovate in order to introduce a consumer democracy that has never existed before. If a business fails to embrace it, it is at risk of being left behind. Written by an international team of eminent thinkers, writers and practitioners in the field, "A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing" covers the definition of open innovation, how to manage virtual teams and co-create with customers, how to overcome legal and IP issues and common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid. With corporate case studies and best practice advice, "A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing" is a vital read for anyone who wants to find innovative products and services from outside their organizations, make them work and overcome the practical difficulties that lie in the way.

My rating

4,0 stars on a scale 0-5.

This book is an accessible description of open innovation and crowd sourcings and offers instructive lessons for every business leader and professional.

Lots of cases that inspires one, presented simply. Based on the chosen approach, as a reader I enjoyed the many perspectives as outlined by all contributing experts.

This book is recommended reading for anyone who is interested in connecting to the changing context in our business world. It is then up to you how that knowledge and information will be applied by you to achieve business or professional.
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on March 29, 2011
I recently received a copy of a new book on open innovation, edited by Paul Sloane, that draws together some of the best advice on this growing area into a single volume. Entitled A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing: Advice from Leading Experts, it provides a wealth of perspectives on open innovation from corporate practitioners (such as Kraft, Unilever, Nokia, LG Electronics and Psion Techlogix), consultancies (such as NineSigma and OVO Innovation), suppliers (Spigit) and academia (University of California at Berkeley and Sorbonne University).

If your company is thinking about venturing into the brave new world of open innovation, this book ought to be on your must-read list. You'll gain some important insights into where to start, things you need to consider and what to watch out for. In particular, this book touches on some of the most common cultural issues that firms encounter when they start to reach their innovation initiatives beyond their own four walls.
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on September 2, 2011
A fantastic guide for high level management or owners with little or no time for basic study.
Red this and other Open Innovation books during my 14 days family holiday around the pool and coverted the reading into a general company reflexion on our own situation and opportunities. Highly recommendable
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on July 4, 2012
This book is compilation of thoughts from various industry experts on open innovation. I found this book very useful for understanding the process.
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on July 1, 2014
I loved the different perspectives and examples. I go back to this book again and again for reference.
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on June 30, 2013
Interesting and useful coverage. Easy to read and well organized..
Some practical ideas, highly recommended. Good fundamental coverage. easy to read
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