Open Innovation and More

In a recent interview with the website InnovationManagement, open innovation expert Henry Chesbrough discussed his new book, Open Services Innovation, and the importance of service innovation in general:

“We know a lot about how to innovate new products, new processes, and new technologies, but know far less about how to innovate in services,” Chesbrough noted in the interview with InnovationManagement. ”Yet this is the majority of economic activity for most OECD countries.”

You can find out more about Chesbrough’s ideas on bringing open innovation to services in an article he wrote on that topic in MIT Sloan Management Review’s winter 2011 issue. (Open innovation can involve both bringing external ideas into the organization and licensing or selling corporate technologies or knowledge to outside parties.)


Interestingly, the winter 2011 issue of MIT SMR also has a number of other articles dealing — in one way or another — with the role of external parties (as opposed to say, a company’s’ internal R&D and new product development functions) in innovation. Jason Amaral, Edward G. Anderson and Geoffrey G. Parker write about how to manage distributed product development activities that span an organization’s boundaries to include outside parties. And Ulrich Lichtenthaler, Holger Ernst and James Conley discuss how to develop a successful technology licensing program as part of an open innovation strategy.

Meanwhile, Julian Birkinshaw, Cyril Bouquet and J.-L. Barsoux point out in their new article “The 5 Myths of Innovation” that open innovation has limitations and costs as well as obvious benefits, while Francesco Zirpoli and Marcus C. Becker describe a case study of a European automotive manufacturer that for a while outsourced so much design work that its internal technical competencies eroded.