Open innovation culture

Culture is a large part of a company. It’s the way the company operates its accounts for the method of operations and the norms that the company follows by. Regardless of similar companies its culture can set them world apart. Because culture plays a large role despite being in the background it is largely difficult in changing. Incorporating open innovation into any company there must be a change in the way innovation is operated also the people mind-set, these being the culture.

To fully benefit from open innovation, the culture must be place and this must be done carefully. inventiveBorad have a few points on how introducing this culture could be done effectively

1. Acknowledge the gap. This is fully knowing, understand and acknowledge the gap between the current culture and the desired state of culture for open innovation to flourish.

2. Taking into account the different culture levels. In every company there are different culture levels with shared norms beliefs and values, recognising the levels will allow for management to make specific changes in tune with each level

3. Using incentive schemes that reward. Though it is a long journey that will take some time to settle, it does help if there are incentives given to staff for their ideas and solutions to problems regardless of the size. This build on the culture of seeking help than from the norm and they will be more susceptible

4. Management support. The staff have to see that the management are also in the change as they are and this could be done through openly showing support to external sourcing. This gives some trust to the staff that the change is for the better and it will add to the administration than take.

Also from a paper written by the University of Cambridge on how to implement open innovation, it was emphasized on the importance of cultural change and how leadership by example from the top is necessary. The paper also states how it also equally important that important changes come from the operational level as “They are the ones who need to deliver”

Another source of stating on how to go about creating the right culture for open innovation is industryWeek. Stating that know that is needed and knowing what one have or the company competencies are the first steps. Followed by scouting for new partners and stakeholders can be a first step in letting in a different method of operation for the new culture to be introduced smoothly. The next step is creating an IP strategy this should be now as early as possible to full clarifications on who owns what in these partnerships to avoid confusions and conflict further down the line. Another step is letting everyone that the company is open to innovation. This is being open to all ideas regardless to the size and whether internal and external.

The next step is also to open up to existing relationships such as suppliers and vendors allowing a space for exchanging ideas and it should also be established on the confidentiality in sharing goals and ideas between each other. Though all these will take time and from the second year the next step to create a knowledge database on the progress done in order to learn from it and improve upon. Next is to start spreading out from stakeholders and existing partnerships to peer organisations. It could be beneficial by taking the lead within peer organisations and help solve problems which could be beneficial to all. The last but not the least is to create accountability. This is giving praise where it is due regardless of how small the contribution is. This shows how committed the company is to the cultural change and open innovation.

Cultural change is a long hard road but by taking small incremental and careful steps it can be done and establish this can create a solid foundation to open innovation and the benefits it comes with.