Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How big an organization can open-innovate?

Open innovation in one sentence is the process of using ideas from outside the company to create new products. This form of innovation is widely used today and is becoming more and more popular. Our experience of open innovation and an incubator program in MicroLink is about a year old now.

But the process of it has some real challenges. Most of them are related to the "corporate politics" or "corporate bullshit" as Paul Graham describes it. In MicroLink we have so far overcome the obstacles, but I think that in bigger organizations you would have the following issues:
- When times are tough the innovation budget will be the first to go.
- Too many people (the management, the council, the owners) have to accept the innovation projects that involve investment. So the process gets slow, politics and personal taste get to rule the decisions.
- In a big company you have auditors, lawyers, security and finance whose primary role is to keep the company clear from risks. This tends to make even low level risk innovation projects really difficult, not to mention bigger investement/startup programs.
- ....

So to get your opinion on this issue I put up a poll. Feel free to answer! :-)

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