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VINE VOICEon June 18, 2010
I've just had a chance to read a new book by Stefan Lindegaard, who is an active innovation consultant and blogger. If you follow innovation topics on the web, you may have seen his site, [...], or seen him on Twitter, where his handle is @lindegaard. At any rate Stefan is an active participant in the online innovation community, and is always worth listening to.

Stefan's area of focus is open innovation, and his new book, The Open Innovation Revolution, is a book meant to provide the ground work for any firm considering an open innovation approach. Stefan's approach is very pragmatic, and the reason I like it is that he takes a very top down, strategic approach to innovation. After introducing what open innovation is and why it matters, he quickly turns his attention to the "mandate" for open innovation. He discusses innovation strategy and strategic purposes, what we at OVO call "strategic intent". Innovation is often a "bolt-on" process that conflicts with strategy rather than a carefully integrated capability, so this focus on strategy rings very true.

He then turns his attention to people and culture, which are the right focus areas. To be successful at open innovation, we need to identify the best partners to work with and also change the thinking inside the firm. The predominant thinking in most firms is to protect intellectual property and to assume "we know best". In a firm focused on open innovation, the presumptive thinking is: we can identify the best ideas, ours or someone else's. It took P&G and Lafley to make this thinking acceptable in the Fortune 500.

Stefan then turns his attention to the individual or team that will lead the open innovation initiative and provides these individuals with insight and support, especially focused on overcoming internal barriers, building a new culture and communicating effectively.

I found it interesting that he didn't spend a lot of time trying to categorize the different "types" of open innovation. Open innovation runs the gamut from solutions like Dell's IdeaStorm to solutions provided by Innocentive to proprietary networks built by firms like P&G. There are a range of approaches that will satisfy very different needs. Additionally, I was a bit surprised that Stefan didn't discuss more about the challenges of intellectual property when considering an open innovation model. When working with a number of customers, partners and vendors, identifying intellectual property, who owns it and who claims it can be a very dicey problem.

This book is addressed to the people who will lead an open innovation initiative, so in some cases it takes on a coaching or consultative voice. The book has a lot of what appear to be verbatim interviews with executives who are conducting open innovation initiatives and each chapter includes a recap and recommendations.

Any individual or team tasked with starting an open innovation program should check out The Open Innovation Revolution.

Cross posted from my blog Innovate on Purpose
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on July 7, 2010
A few weeks ago I received "The Open Innovation Revolution" by Stefan Lindegaard in the mail. "The Open Innovation Revolution" is an approachable 200 pages, and is an easy, and pleasant read.

Stefan Lindegaard is contributor to Blogging Innovation and is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focuses on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation.

The book tries to tackle the hot topic of open Innovation. If you're not familiar with open innovation, the basic idea is that it is not all of the smart people in the world that could contribute to your organization's success, live within the organization's four walls. Open innovation is when an organization pursues innovation with the assistance of brains outside the organization - sometimes publicly, sometimes privately.

Most books on innovation focus on ideation, creativity, or the process for managing innovation, but open innovation requires a different mindset and a different set of skills, mindsets, and culture to execute successfully because the organization does not control all of the resources in this approach. "The Open Innovation Revolution" gives you a peek at what some of the leading organizations in the open innovation revolution are doing and some of the things that you need to think about and plan for.

The book is broken into three main sections:

* The Essentials
* Roadblocks
* Personal Leadership for Open Innovation

Here are some of the core principles from the book to spark your thinking:

* Open innovation is very much about the bridging of internal and external resources to make innovation happen

* "Embracing the outside requires that you really know the inside."

* Very few companies have an innovation strategy, and even fewer have properly integrated open innovation into their innovation strategy instead of just trying to bolt it on.

* There are three fundamental questions you must ask yourself before embarking on a journey toward open innovation
1. What will open innovation do to our business model?
2. How will your organizational chart change to accommodate open innovation?
3. What does this mean to my role as a manager or leader?

* There are many important elements to a successful open innovation culture including: overcoming NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome, understanding that open innovation requires open communication, striving for a balance of internal and external R&D, and more.

* It is important to effectively identify and develop the people who will drive open innovation for the organization

* Organizations that are successful at open innovation AND that are successful at innovation in general have a strong networking culture (in other words, people in the organization are good at connecting to others inside and outside the organization who have something to contribute)

* Organizations are built and executives are rewarded for operating the existing business efficiently, not for taking on the new and the risky

* Business plan competitions are not just for universities - many corporations organize them internally to get ideas from their staff

Taken all together I think "The Open Innovation Revolution" provides a good introduction to open innovation for those who are curious about the topic, and for those who might be finding themselves suddenly thrust forward to potentially lead their organization's open innovation efforts.
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on August 19, 2010
I've read Stefan Lindegaard's new book The Open Innovation Revolution and found it to be an easy read, written obviously by someone (Stefan) who is passionate about the topic. It is a great primer for companies, and especially mid-level managers new to the open innovation trend. Those who are looking for a deeper analysis of emerging tools (software, best practices) and approaches to overcoming some of the 'stickier' parts of OI (such as intellectual property rights) may be left a bit longing. But with that said, Stefan has focused (and I think intentionally and rightly) on the leadership and organizational aspects of OI. He has done an excellent job of creating a handbook for the enlightened middle manager of an established company hoping to begin or expand their open innovation efforts. I especially like his focus (Chapter 6) on the Networked Innovation Culture and the need to build a culture and mentality of networking as a core element of OI. I also liked his treatment of identifying and Defeating the Corporate Antibodies (Chapter 8), though in this case, wished for some more and deeper actionable advice.

It's surprising to see so few books following after Henry Chesbrough's seminal Open Innovation a few years back... a lot has transpired in this area, with Open Innovation moving from a leading edge approach to a much more mainstream activity. It's also crossing from R&D into marketing and other functions, as well as taking on a variety of new forms... from collaborative networks, crowdsourcing, consortia and many related forms of open innovation. Stefan's book does an excellent job of addressing the basics of open innovation and hopefully will find a broad business audience. It provides practical tools and shares experience from leaders in the market, and I hope it inspires more people to undertake open innovation initiatives. Much of his advice will help more of these initiatives succeed I'm sure.
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on July 20, 2010
I have just finished reading the book "The Open Innovation Revolution: Essentials, Roadblocks and Leadership Skills" by Stefan Lindegaard. Stefan is a very active member of the LinkedIn and Twitter innovation communities and his expertise is open innovation. Stefan also comments on and addresses diverse aspects of open innovation through his blog 15inno.

I have been following Stefan's 15inno closely for quite some time now, and I was actually eager to get my hands on his new book. After reading the book, I have to admit that I am impressed because Stefan, based on his innovation and intrapreneurship work experience, paints a very realistic (and sometimes harsh) roadmap of how open innovation is to be implemented successfully. His direct, personal writing style coupled with his numerous examples of open innovation initiatives (successful and not) and interviews with innovation leaders and intrapreneurs, bring out the characteristics that are essential in designing and implementing effective open innovation programs. I also especially liked the list of key takeaways that comes in the form of a bullet-point summary at the end of each chapter.

As suggested by the title, the book is divided into 3 main parts: Essentials; Roadblocks; and Leadership Skills. The first two parts are excellent in what they set out to do which is to describe the current state of open innovation in practice and to identify factors that can assist with or inhibit its deployment. After defining open innovation as "bridging internal and external resources to make innovation happen" and describing open innovation's important value proposition, Stefan goes on to identify that open innovation might not be for everyone. A company must first ask itself whether open innovation can provide it with any benefits and whether it can be aligned with its overall corporate strategy. In Chapter 3, Stefan provides an excellent list (based on a discussion in his 15inno community started by Chris Thoen, an R&D director at Procter & Gamble) of 10 essential elements of an open innovation culture that would definitely assist companies in answering this important question.

Once a company is clear of the potential benefits of open innovation, then it must proceed with defining what open innovation means to it. For example when P&G initiated its open innovation programs in 2000, its then CEO A. G. Lafley set the target that 50% of the company's innovation output has to include a key external contribution. Finally, the company should be willing to invest significantly in providing open innovation education to its people in order to change their mindsets and help them obtain new skills. Stefan rightly argues that it is more important to identify (and develop) the right people (innovation leaders and intrapreneurs) that can push forward an open innovation endeavor than it is to first put the right processes in place. In Chapter 5, besides explaining the unique qualities that innovation leaders and intrapreneurs should have, Stefan also gives examples of how to best identify these people, including the organization of internal business plan competitions, or initializing intrapreneur-in-residence programs.

The second part of the book describes the main roadblocks that usually inhibit the successful deployment of open innovation (or innovation in general). These include top executive support, resistance to change by executives and managers, and the inherit difficulties and delays associated with radical innovation. Stefan describes in detail how each of these roadblocks may manifest itself and also proposes practical ways of addressing and overcoming each one of them including challenging and stretching the mindset of top executives, understanding what really matters to top executives, staying below the radar, and having people who can executive radical innovation programs. I would have liked to see in this part some discussion on the challenges posed by intellectual property, what I also consider as an open innovation roadblock, and how these may be addressed.

The third and longest part of the book focuses on how innovation leaders and intrapreneurs should develop required personal leadership skills, such as defining success, identifying values, effectuating change, managing time effectively, developing your personal brand, networking, managing relationships, and communicating effectively with a range of stakeholders. The information contained is this part of the book will be of great use to anyone directly involved in designing and implementing an open innovation program, but others might find this personal development material (and/or the coaching/consulting tone) not that relevant to the main theme of the book.

Finally, towards the end of the book, Stefan provides a bonus chapter (Chapter 17) that describes primarily how to initially organize successful internal corporate business plan competitions and how to later involve external partners as appropriate. The reason for first starting internally can be summed up with one of the earlier quotes in the book: "Embracing the outside requires that you really know the inside".

Summarizing, "The Open Innovation Revolution" is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning the main practical aspects of implementing effective open innovation programs. I recommend Stefan's book to any member of the innovation community and I hope that the open innovation revolution will soon take off!
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on March 18, 2011
This book is a managerial self-help book of how to implement the ideas is Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from Technology.

I have given this book only three stars because its value is limited to a specific audience: You are a manager in a large or medium-sized company without a recent MBA who have come across the idea of "open innovation" somewhere and find it interesting. You might have a dislike for theoretical management books with lots of figures and matrices. You might be happier with check-lists of what to do.

If you fit the description the book is a four and if you don't fit the description the book is a two
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on August 27, 2010
The idea of bringing customers into the process of defining the products and service of your organization is one that is gaining a lot of steam. One manifestation of that is the increased interest in Social CRM. In this scenario, companies engage their social customers for feedback and marketing purposes. Taking it a step further, Mark Tamis and Esteban Kolsky see the higher purpose as organizing the business around the newly social customers.

And then there's Stefan Lindegaard.

Stefan is a leading open innovation consultant and author of the recently published book, The Open Innovation Revolution. He sees things advancing even further. From page 13 of his book:

"Open innovation is about integrating external partners in the entire innovation process. This should happen not just in the idea or technology-development phase but also in all other phases toward market acceptance. User-driven innovation is great because it directs your innovation efforts toward market needs. Open innovation takes you to the next step by providing more opportunities through external partners as you address those market needs."

Stefan is on to something. Incorporate a greater range of external input throughout your company's innovation process. As Stefan describes it on page 12:

"User-driven is highly related to open innovation, but it has to go further to become open innovation. This happens when you not only get ideas from external sources but also let external players become key players in the process of turning ideas into a business."


And what is the value of taking open innovation to a more integrated, advanced level? Procter & Gamble illustrates the benefit. In 2000, P&G CEO A.G Lafley set a goal of having 50% of the company's products derived from external sources. To accomplish this, the company consciously engaged external parties through its Connect + Develop initiative. Through Connect + Develop, P&G conducted a two-way exchange of ideas and feedback with industry, leveraging a dedicated staff of over 50 people. The results?

* In 2000, the success rate of new products was 15-20%. By 2008, the new product success rate rose to between 50-60%.
* R&D investment as a percentage of sales is down from 4.8% in 2000 to 3.4% in 2006.

The company attributes its success to its open innovation model. And the advantage continues. Diversified, globally-based P&G's stock price is up 7% over the past 5 years, while the diversified, globally-based businesses of the S&P 500 are down 2%. That's a 9 percentage point spread.

P&G sees a key benefit of its ambitious open innovation model as this: to be the preferred partner of choice when external parties have a good idea. Think about that. The volume of good ideas that can occur outside your organization is significant. When individuals, academics and industry players do have these ideas, who's at the top of their mind for partnering? That's a significant, sustainable competitive advantage.

The Open Innovation Revolution looks at a number of aspects companies need to address to integrate open innovation more fully into their company's processes.


The initial steps are crucial for establishing an open innovation strategy. Stefan observes that you only get "one-and-a-half chances to do this thing right". So what are the key considerations for organizations considering open innovation?

1. Establish a clear mandate, a strong strategic purpose and an ideation theme
2. Conduct a stakeholder analysis
3. Develop a communication strategy
4. Build a common language
5. Include organizational approaches that achieve TBX (T = top; B = bottom; X = across)
6. Strive to be innovative instead of working to become innovative

His book addresses each of those elements. He also includes examples of companies (often Danish) incorporating these steps.

The step that most resonated with me is the first one, establish a clear mandate. When this is done, it moves the initiative from an interesting suggestion to an approach supported culturally, with processes, management buy-in and identified key players.

But it's also the hardest and is less amenable to bottom-up experimentation. I say that as someone who has read the value of bottom-up viral adoption and experimentation in the Enterprise 2.0 world. If an organization is going to engage external parties in the co-creation, co-development process, you'd better make sure you've got legal and senior management signed-on.

And Stefan emphasizes the issues that will be faced internally at companies as they seek to establish their open innovation mandate. A favorite term of mine is "corporate antibodies". These are the people inside an organization that will seek to sabotage an open innovation initiative. Why?

They don't see the effort as 2+2=5. For them, it's 2+2=2

Essentially they fear having their own projects derailed, and potentially losing their power inside the organization. This is where senior management needs to push the effort, and even crack a few skulls if needed. Here's how Stefan relates it (page 32):

"Mads Clausen, former CEO at Danfoss, was very good at taking managers aside and looking them straight in the eye while telling them that he really believed in this innovation initiative and that he hoped the manager shared his approach.

Innovation leaders must also educate executives on open innovation and, more importantly, must make the consequences of executive decisions very clear."

In Chapter 8 of the book, Stefan addresses strategies for overcoming corporate antibodies.


Throughout the rest of The Open Innovation Revolution, Stefan discusses a variety of elements that factor into open innovation success.

With people, he has identified two archetypes: innovation leaders and intrapreneurs. Innovation leaders work at the strategic and tactical level to build the internal platform to handle open innovation. Intrapreneurs work at the operational level on initiatives. Key questions he answers are: how to identify and develop these people?

With networking, he applies concepts of social network analysis. And spends some time talking about how you individually can go about your networking. Networking's value is in finding new ideas and connecting with people globally, and even internally.

Roadblocks include the corporate antibodies, but other issues as well. Top executives may not "get" open innovation. Also, radical innovation is too high a threshold to seek.

Personal brand is a useful term, and one that immediately puts some people off. One interesting tidbit Stefan notes is that establishing a personal brand is seen as manipulative in many countries, but "less so in the United States." In the chapter discussing personal brand, he includes some worksheets to help you think about your own.

Time management is no doubt an issue for most of us. He includes Parkinson's Law, which I hadn't heard of but immediately recognized as true: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." He provides advice and frameworks for better managing time.

Admittedly, the personal branding and time management sections weren't quite my cup of tea. But my guess is they reflect conversations he's had over the years with many employees of companies who are figuring out open innovation. For example, remember his note that Europeans and the rest of the world outside the U.S. are reticent about this personal branding thing.


An area which I'd like to see more is a description of how open innovation works operationally. For instance, do you have existing personnel lead the interactions with external parties? Or is it better to have external connectors lead the coordination? What are the intellectual property issues to be considered? What are the contractual models for sharing the benefits of the effort?

Perhaps this is fodder for a future book by Stefan. But as it is, The Open Innovation Revolution is a smart, rich introduction to the concepts underlying this emerging practice. Stefan knows his stuff, and readers will come away with a better sense of how to prepare their organization, and themselves, for the coming revolution.
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on July 25, 2010
I am glad to finally see such a practical and applicable book on open innovation be made available to the mainstream. Stefan Lindegaard took a non-academic approach, and loaded the book with real-life stories and quotes from those actually in the open innovation trenches. And since he spent time talking with those in the trenches he was able to shed light on something that has been all too often ignored - the soft side. By soft side, I am referring to the human element, i.e., the effects of change on culture, the importance of communication, human roadblocks, and the like. As an open innovation professional I have seen far too many companies attempt open innovation without paying attention to these important factors, only to end up with an unsuccessful program.

Another great point brought out in the book is the importance of finding the right open innovation champions and "intrapreneurs." These professionals are not your typical R&D managers. Rather, they need to possess a unique set of skills ranging from diverse technical competence to a keen aptitude for networking. They are the face of a company's open innovation effort, and will need to represent this function both internally and externally. They are bridge builders, spanning the proverbial gap between marketing, research and development, These professionals must work across various business units to educate people and to encourage them to use open innovation where and when it is most likely to result in success.

These, and many other important points, are key concepts discussed in this book that should be considered by any organization embarking on a new open innovation journey. This book gets right to the heart of what really matters, and should be read by anyone in the planning phase of open innovation, or just looking for ways to improve an already existing program.
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on July 22, 2010
Interesting read on an important and growing area of Innovation. The book or better author is very direct and candid in his observations and opinions; no doubt about his views and opinions (Page 52 for example: He believes entrepreneurs could dampen their efforts and initiatives when getting married vs my believe that "home" accountability might excel efforts) The book is logically structured, relatively easy read.

Although I missed some solid recommendations on the "How to" in some areas the author makes you aware of the challenges and pitfalls of Open Innovation.
An area I missed and was underrepresented was the fact that Open Innovation is a tactic in the overall approach of "Total" Innovation and the fact that Innovation has to be structured well within before one attempt to apply "Open Innovation" with the outside. Much time is spend on "Personal Leadership" in line with my views of the first Imperative to Create and Sustain Innovation under "Robert's Rules of Innovation" which is "Inspire". But ultimately Open Innovation can only succeed if you have a smooth internal operating Innovation machine and are trying to elevate the efforts and returns on investment.

The book is a good reference if you are innovating and want to learn about taking it to the next level of Open Innovation. If you are starting get the fundamental right first.

Innovate and Thrive

Robert F. Brands
Author, Speaker & Innovation Coach
Robert's Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival
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on August 16, 2010
Open Innovation Revolution is both handbook and reality check for practitioners.
Stefan provides frank views of Open Innovation practice; with examples of companies who are OI pretenders, contenders, and champions. He correctly recognizes that in order to integrate external partners into an internal organization, one must begin with people instead of process. The partnership must be grounded in trust, focused on objective and guided by process.

He provides some useful lessons of how corporate executives and entrenched business leaders can act as "antibodies" to arrest progress toward OI-related change. Lofty talk of OI objectives may be quickly brought down the priority page in favor of short term margin goals by well established sales and marketing executives. Practical case summaries help support his views.
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on July 29, 2010
This is an excellent practical guide to making open innovation happen in your organization, with understandable, executable steps, highlighting the opportunities and challenges. Braden Kelley's summary is a great summation of the book. If you are interested in Open Innovation (OI), if you are being told to start an OI program, if you see the need for OI in your company, perhaps even defining OI as between business units, silos, in your company, this is the book to get. If you've done OI for a while, this book is still very relevant to help you expand your OI ventures.
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