4 Key Open Innovation Challenges to Overcome

4 Key Open Innovation Challenges to Overcome

By Jessica Day

In late 2012, Forrester Research published the results of a survey about IT organization and governance when it came to the subject of innovation. Among many findings, the report outlined a few challenges that companies sometimes face when striving to institute a culture of change. Although the survey details many trials (as well as a great deal of other information), four of the challenges listed seemed both incredibly common, but also possible to overcome.

  1. Fear of Failure

    This particular challenge is elucidated in the book The Innovator’s Dilemma in which author Christensen spends a great deal of time treating the subject of the dollar-hungry business, which is impatient for more revenue and cannot spend time on innovation without a return. At the same time, a business that does not grow and evolve will eventually die, so investing in some sort of growth program is imperative.

    Some successful organizations overcome this particular hurtle by measuring the success of innovation programs by the number of ideas submitted (or implemented) as the crucial metrics, not just the return on the initial investment from those ideas (although that’s important, too). The true worth, of course, is not just in the pay-out, but making room for innovation as a value within the workplace.

  2. Lack of Incentives

    Most open innovation platforms today seek to find some way to keep members returning to the platform and engaging by rewarding that behavior. Gamifying through badges and monetary reward, of course, are only just beginning. Many businesses offer creative rewards that also reflect a lively and vibrant office culture. Examples of creative rewards include, taking the boss’s car for a day or offering a reserved parking space or the ability to pick the office holiday party venue. This list contains more than 50 non-monetary potential rewards for participating within an open innovation program.

  3. Lack of Creative Resources

    Some companies believe that their employees aren’t cut out for creative thinking (maybe they’re an accounting firm or they’re a restaurant that doesn’t have employees interfacing on their computers every day). This cultural belief is antithetical to the principles of open innovation.  Scholar Henry Chesbrough postulated that there are no barriers to collaboration, communication, innovation, or ideation and that people should not be hemmed in by job description. Surprising ideas have been gleaned from unlikely places with the help of crowdsourcing simply by making the platform available. Consider AllState’s lawyer who submitted the next great idea for their mobile app.

  4. No Structure or Procedure

    It is often true that a company that does not define the process for engaging, moderating, collecting, assessing, vetting, promoting, project managing, prototyping, implementing, producing, and marketing new ideas will often fail. However, once a company begins defining its goals and establishing key innovators, the process begins to reveal itself. Still, for individuals that want an example, the 2013 winners of the Open Innovation Award (Yale) outlined a highly successful, yet straightforward process in their winning moderation strategy.

If you’d like to know more about open innovation and the best practices that define a successful culture within an organization, feel free to join IdeaScale guests Chip Gliedman from Forrester Research and the Yale Innovation Team as they discuss their open innovation program and thoughts on best practices in a complimentary webinar on January 24th. Register today.


Image Used By Permission From: www.pixabay.com

Never miss an insight

Get insights delivered right to your inbox

More of Our Insights & Work

Never miss an insight

Get insights delivered right to your inbox

You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter.

Too many subscribe attempts for this email address.