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Open innovation might not be a magic wand that effortlessly solves all of your challenges, but it can help to leverage the energy, thoughts and creativity of a group of individuals, to drum up those solutions without you having to shoulder the burden by your lonesome. Business Managers in companies of all types are beginning to implement this business strategy as it enables them to gain important insights, achieve broad scale change, all while saving time and energy.
Companies are being built around the idea of the modern business model canvas and the role open innovation has in it. Mobile apps and SaaS are being built to enable business managers and their teams to leverage the power of open innovation in their current processes.
Still skeptical about whether open innovation is right for your in your role as a business manager? Let’s take a look at three specific examples
Challenge: Getting to Know Your Customers
Uninformed innovation, is like throwing darts while blindfolded and hoping you hit the mark, and it can be costly. You need to know where the pain points are for your customers, and base your innovation projects off of that information. But gaining a window into the lives of your customers can be difficult, and sometimes costly, so how do you gain the insights that you need to make the right decisions?
Solution: Empower Your Loyal Customers
When engaging in customer outreach, you don’t need to reach every single customer. Taking a sample or subset of your customers and really engaging with them can give you a wealth of data about your existing products and how they are meeting or failing to meet the customer needs. Or identify your lead customers or users - those people who are the most innovative of all of your customers and invite them into an Ideathon. From there you can make informed decisions about where to invest your time, effort and energy.
Challenge: Change is In Control
Change can inspire positive change but for many organizations, change is difficult. Change brings uncertainty, creates friction, and often comes at a cost. It can be discomforting because there is a chance that it might take us somewhere that we don’t want to go. So, rather than explore positive change, we tend to remain where we are. Essentially change holds power over your organization and controls your destiny.
Solution: Get into the Driver’s Seat
Turn change from potential negatives into carefully planned positive growth. The process of open innovation, if properly designed creates a change engine, with you in the driver’s seat. By establishing proofs of concept, you can research, plan and test the change before implementing it on a broad scale thus protecting your organization the potential negative impacts of failed projects and only investing in change that promotes growth.
Challenge: Moving at the Speed of Tech
Technology is constantly evolving and making new tools available to us, but when you are working full time, and focused on generating growth, and creating new revenue, how do you have the time to stay on top of all of the latest technology? You can sign up for RSS feeds to get notifications about new and exciting tech, but those emails just always seem to pile up, creating a mountain of unread, now outdated news.
Solution: Lean On Your Team
You aren’t the only person in your organization who enjoys reading about new technology and trends. The internal resources within your company have different experiences and all use different tools both inside, and outside of the office. By empowering those interested in technology, you can ask motivated team members to research new forms and submit those that can benefit your organization through opportunity discovery projects.