OI to Build Win-Win Strategies

Henrik Stamm Kristensen

In a scenario where marketplaces have become global, technology moves faster than ever and the growth of the individuals’ power is leading to a time of increasing transparency, cooperation has converted into a powerful tool for companies. Open Innovation can help them continually innovate, work together for the common good, even collaborating with competitors, build win-win strategies to engage their stakeholders, break down barriers in consolidated markets and innovate faster. For this, strong innovation leaders must be able to encourage everyone within their organizations to challenge the statu quo in an open and collaborative way. In the article “Leading the Innovation Revolution: Will the Real Spartacus Stand Up?”, Elaine Dundon and Alex N. Pattakos share some interesting views about innovation in current scenarios and about the role of leaders in building ecosystems of collaboration for companies both internally and externally.

The challenge

As Dudndon and Pattakos point out in their article, there are three factors influencing the need for more collaboration and engagement of external stakeholders. They are the following:

  • Technology. It moves faster than ever, opening the door to disrupt any industry and forcing companies to innovate in a continuous and sustainable way, and getting into uncharted territories faster.
  • The global marketplace. Since technology has made it possible, supply chains have also been disrupted and companies no longer need to rely on local sources of supply, and as local barriers go down, the level of competition goes up.
  • Personal power. Individuals expect their voices to be heard as workers or customers, and organizations can no longer avoid that. Instead, they must find ways to create scenarios that encourage participation and the flow of information in a transparent manner.

How to deal with the change?

As the article points out, there are different ways to address innovation such as cutting programs in the search for efficiency or the creation of special innovation teams or departments. They are short-term solutions, however. To innovate in a continuous and sustainable way, innovation should be transverse and involve all resources, both internal and external, that the organization has at its disposal. In the article, eight pillars of innovation are identified for a global approach: shared innovation vision and strategy, innovation environment support, innovation resource allocation, innovation process networks, innovation programs, innovation skills development, innovation rewards and recognition and external stakeholder innovation.

The open innovation mindset can help better address some of these proposals, especially regarding building new opportunities and competitive advantages by collaboration with other companies and competitors and creating environments to support innovation, along with encouraging teams and individuals within an organization to challenge the statu quo to bring new ideas into the marketplaces and to constantly experiment.

Leading innovation
According to the article, to create open and change–adaptable systems, which bring new ideas into the market, leaders need to:

  • Share innovation vision and strategy to all stakeholders.
  • Create an innovation climate that welcomes new ideas and encourages participation within organizations.
  • Open the organizational boundaries to embrace external contributions.

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