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Open Innovation

Open Innovation

Open Innovation, or simply OI, is a growing approach to exchanging insights and capabilities amongst business organizations.   It has three primary modes, referred to as Outside-In, Inside-Out, and Joint OI.

For most businesses, the most useful of these will be Outside-In, in which the business pursues insights and capabilities from outside its own organization.   The insights relate to new innovation opportunities the business can pursue.   The capabilities relate to being able to deliver new solutions the business could not otherwise deliver, whether the nature of the challenge they address is one of business, design, or technology.

Some businesses will also have the opportunity to leverage the reverse mode of OI — Inside-Out.   Here, the business sells or licenses its Intellectual Property to outside parties, and/or provides unique capabilities to those parties that are generally hard to come by.   If the exchange goes both ways, as it sometimes does, it then becomes Joint OI.

Open Innovation thus expands businesses' access to insights on what opportunities there are for them to pursue, and their access to new capabilities on how to address specific business, design, and technology challenges.

There are numerous approaches available to businesses for pursuing Open Innovation.   In the context of gaining opportunity insights, these generally involve methods like external innovation tournaments.   In the context of finding new capabilities, these can include a variety of partnerships, such as contracted development, joint development, technology and IP licensing, and so forth.   Furthermore, a number of third-party platforms have arisen around the world to facilitate these efforts online.   On the opportunity side, these platforms typically facilitate innovation tournaments, while on the capability side, they typically facilitate new partnerships between those who need unique capabilities and those who provide unique capabilities.


At Legacy Innovation Group, we remain deeply embedded in the Open Innovation community around the world.   We have the insights and relationships, therefore, to steer your efforts in the right direction, and to connect you with a broad array of Open Innovation resources.   More importantly though, we also have the insights required to guide you through the necessary shifts in organizational thinking and culture if you are to leverage OI successfully.   This includes getting past the hurdles of Not-Invented-Here (typically from R&D departments), Intellectual Property Rights (typically from legal departments), and risk-aversion (typically from business unit leaders).   We can therefore greatly increase the odds of Open Innovation taking hold and becoming successful in your business — much more so than if you go it alone — as most businesses find that implementing OI is far more challenging than they had originally anticipated.   But for those that do succeed, they find it pays off quite well once the effort has stabilized.


The Open Innovation Engagement typically follows these steps:

  1. We begin by listening to you so as to understand your goals for using Open Innovation, and to understand the specific business challenges where it is believed that OI will benefit your organization.
  2. We then explain the processes involved in engaging the various Open Innovation communities, along with the implications of using OI and how to manage its unique challenges.
  3. Ultimately, we help you determine whether or not Open Innovation is a good path for your business and, if so, we then connect you with the right resources to make it happen.
  4. As desired, we can coach you through the organizational challenges you will encounter when using OI and how best to address each challenge, as well as how to, in general, begin shifting your organization's culture and thinking toward one that is more open and receptive to OI.   This will be necessary if you intend to use Open Innovation on an ongoing basis.
  5. As needed, we can provide custom training and workshops around Open Innovation so as to build an understanding and acceptance of it within the business.
  6. If desired, we can remain engaged with you to help oversee the OI initiative, and to coach you along the way so as to ensure it remains on track and does not get derailed by undesirable and inappropriate influences.

To learn more about engaging us for Open Innovation consulting, refer to our Management Engagement page.
Legacy Innovation Group, LLC
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 USA
+1 844 534 2294