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The Benefits Of Open Innovation

19.05.2015

The most successful companies in the world today have done thingss differently than their predecessors. They had to. Google and Microsoft both started with 2 employees. So how did these companies, and many startups that came after them, break the molds in their industries and come out ahead of the competition? Mark Zuckerburg’s slogan “Move fast and break things”, now updated to “Move fast with stable infrastructure”, gives some insight into the mentality of these organisations. Instead of wasting time holding meetings and filing paperwork, the smallness of their organisations allowed them to move quickly, experiment, and get direct feedback from their fans and customers. These startups are now some of the biggest companies in the world. Yet they still manage to continually create new products and improve their old ones; growing their revenues and their value to their communities.

Many of these startup founders credit open innovation with their success at disrupting the norm. But we can’t all be Google or Facebook. In fact, many of us don’t want to be. You may want to focus on serving a smaller community,or making social change in your community. But we believe that no matter the size of your organisation or your goals, using open innovation in your organisation will help you grow and provide more value as an organisation. Here are some of our favourite reasons to innovate:

Top 5 Benefits Of Open Innovation

1. Creating new products and services. If you’re a startup, there’s nothing more exciting than getting your first product out on the market. But it’s easy to get complacent, focusing all your efforts on sellling your first product rather than thinking of what else you could provide for your customers. It can be scary to invest time and resources into creating a new product. Especially if you are a startup or charity with a limited budget. Yet, by investing the resources into creating something new, that you know will bring value to your community, you can see your profits rise and your impact expand.

2. Innovating old products and services. You don’t always need to create new products. Maybe there is a twist or tweak on an older service. The first time you release something, it may not preform as well as you planned. This doesn’t mean you need to scrap the idea, but get a creative team together to improve your idea. One of the benefits of open innovation is that the process never ends. You’re always thinking about how you can make your organisation better.

3. Building a community and Getting in touch with your customers and fans. Lego is a great example of how a company can engage their fans on a wide scale by using open innovation. Yet no matter the size of your organisaiton, a great benefit of open innovation is taking the time to get in touch with your fans. Get to know what your community wants, and then give it to them. In the process, you will find that enthusiastic community members are willing to dedicate their time and ideas to helping you create something better. These relationships can be nurtured, and will help your company build a ‘tribe’ of community members dedicated to your cause.

4. Keeping your employees engaged. One of the main sources of employee dissatisfaction is a lack of feeling of ownership on the projects they work on. Further, your team may have some great ideas but might not feel comfortable bringing them forward. By bringing an open innovation initiative to your workplace, your team can get involved in ‘big picture’ planning. When people feel more invested in the bigger goals of the organisation, it makes them more excited to come to work in the morning.

5. Staying ahead of the competition. Perhaps the biggest benefit of open innovation is staying ahead of the competition. By keeping your team and your community engaged and on the lookout for new ideas, you make sure that your organisation stays helpful and relevant to your community. I struggled to find the right word for this point, because we don’t really like the idea of ‘competition’ at WE THINQ. We believe there is enough room in the business, charity, and government sectors for you and your competitors to succeed. But using open innovation can help you find your niche that makes your organisation uniquely valuable to the community.

We’d love to hear more about the benefits your organisation has seen from using open innovation. Share your stories in the comments!

Want to become an expert on open innovation? learn more with our (FREE) ultimate guide to open innovation.

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