Az Innovációs Tavasz második előadása a British Council Hungary és a Nemzeti Kutatási és Technológiai Hivatal közös szervezésében zajlott le 2005. március 21-én. A rendezvény témája: Open Models of Innovation – Nyitott Innovációs modellek, előadója: Charles Leadbeater angol újságíró .
Innovation is increasingly critical to all businesses – as well as to regions, cities and countries. None can take it for granted. In every sector of the economy, the ability to come up with new recipes to combine ingredients – people, products, services, technology – in new ways, is becoming more important to productivity and competitive advantage. We create new value by devising new recipes, whether those are software programmes, retail formats, business processes or television shows.
Innovative activity is becoming more open and networked. Innovative companies need to be increasingly open to ideas emerging around them – from suppliers, independent developers, competitors, partners, upstart entrepreneurs and perhaps most critically consumers. Innovative companies excel at combining their own, distinctive knowledge, with ideas that they have gathered from outsiders. The more that knowledge and ideas spread around the world, thanks to rising educational standards and cheaper communications, the more that companies will have to be open to innovate. They cannot afford to cut themselves off from the flow of ideas swirling around them.
Making open innovation work, however, is far from easy and it turns on simplicity. Organisations that excel at open innovation are guided by clear, simple rules and values. They offer simple, easy to use interfaces for people outside the company, suppliers and customers, to interact with the organisation. They are approachable, plug and play organisations. They cut through the complexity of the modern business environment - uncertain, unpredictable, shifting – by using no more than a handful of simple rules and objectives. The more complex the world gets, the bigger the returns to companies that can make it seem simple. Innovation is increasingly involves pulling off that trick: making something complex look simple.
Even managers who recognise that innovation is a priority often suffer from profound misunderstandings about what it involves. Many managers still labour under the misconception that innovation is all about creativity and that creativity in turn comes from special individuals, working in special circumstances: studios, research laboratories, libraries, the artist’s garret. We tend to think that creativity comes in a flash of individual brilliance from someone working with a blank sheet of paper. This traditional and mistaken account of creativity has encouraged many companies to adopt closed models of innovation: hire bright people, put them in special working conditions, patent their knowledge and inventions, deliver products to passive, waiting consumers gathered at the end of the pipeline. Companies with closed cultures, structures, leaders and outlooks will miss opportunities to work with unfolding sources of know how around them. Open approaches to innovation will only prosper with open leaders, cultures and organisational structures. Innovation usually comes from borrowing ideas as much as inventing them from scratch; it involves looking sideways to learn from ideas being developed elsewhere as much as looking far into the future. Companies that are good at that tend to be gregarious, outward looking, inquisitive and open to people with diverse backgrounds, ideas and outlooks. Often traditional managers, sitting at the top of a hierarchy, obstruct open innovation, even if they do so unintentionally.
Yet organisations that open themselves to multiplying external sources of ideas run a risk. They have to engage with a far more diverse, uncertain and shifting environment. Managers cannot shut themselves off in their offices and researchers cannot retreat to the lab. They constantly have to interact with the world around them. The walls around an organisation have to be broken down. It has to become less bounded, less controlled. The innovation game has more players than ever before, there are more connections between them and more points of initiative. New business ideas are emerging from universities and companies large and small, young and old, all around the world. But playing in this game risks engulfing the company in complexity, as it is pulled hither and thither as promising new ideas, business models and market opportunities, appear out of the fog and then fade away again just as fast. That is why openness and simplicity go together. Good companies can cut their way through a complex environment by adhering to simple rules of thumb to guide them. The more open and innovative a company becomes, the more it needs to rely on having a clear sense of purpose, embodied in simple rules, values and codes of conduct that people can follow. Simple goals and rules help to anchor organisations in shifting, complex environments. They are more likely to avoid going down a dead end, as a result.
Companies that are guided by a few simple rules are more likely to be successful as open innovators and so they are more likely to renew their competitive advantage. The more complex the world outside becomes, the richer the possibilities of interacting with it, the more the job of leadership is to keep things simple.
Innovation increasingly requires openness.
Openness however exposes a company to a more complex environment.
Managing amidst complexity increasingly requires companies to have a simple, confident sense of purpose.
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