Open innovation trends 2017: 8 Ways to create breakthroughs


by Aman Hashim on May 04, 2017 05 26


It’s 2017 and the competition is grueling; there is more creativity and innovation than ever before. If you want to have a competitive edge, you must share your knowledge and learn to accept it from others. With open innovation all of the boundaries are removed, creating an inflow of knowledge for the development of your company and an outward flow for market expansion.

In other words, when corporate teams and startups collaborate, they are able to influence each other’s strengths, complementing each other, because large corporations have a wide-range of resources and startups have tons of new ideas. It’s a win-win situation for both stakeholders.

8 ways to create breakthroughs

In the following list of open innovation trends for 2017, you will find emerging business frameworks or technological methods that will help you to create breakthroughs and give you the opportunity to generate epic value for end users, which will result in higher revenue and bigger market share.

1. Transformation of organization structures

Roles defined in a traditional hierarchical pyramid will cease to exist because they are no longer relevant in the world of advanced technology. It is important to find new ways to connect to your business partners and stakeholders. This also includes focusing on customer satisfaction, shared values and self-organizing teams within your business. The culture of your business must be adjusted in order to stay relevant, and centers and programs are being created for the organization of these models of cooperation:

  • Multifaceted Innovation Centers
    In 2017, we should expect to see new open-innovation centers that will be established for the organization of new business models. Innovation centers accelerate innovation projects by hosting autonomous teams to move faster and deliver inspiring new innovations.
  • Intrapreneurship programs
    These programs train individuals to shape innovative projects as entrepreneurs internally. Not only does the individual provide a service but also seeks technology, policies and applications to increase the company’s productivity. When intrapreneurship is done well, it leads to profitable new products and services and drives innovation, completely transforming a company.
  • Corporate startup accelerators
    Corporate startup accelerators support startups through mentorship to find businesses with the corporation for their innovations



Useful insights: OPEN INNOVATION FUNNEL - A look at the numbers→



2. Co-creation

Co-creation is a social collaboration between a group of people, who offer distinctive skills sets and are working towards the same outcome. Sharing responsibility and having access to each other is what matters. It is open innovation 2.0.

As long-term solutions, companies and enterprises should be developing sustainable models of continuous innovation and co-creation with and through:

  • Customers
  • Revenue-share communities
  • Crowdfunding platforms
  • Startups
  • Freelance inventors
  • Incubators
  • Accelerators
  • Innovation brokers
  • Entrepreneurs in residence
  • Intrapreneurs out of residence
  • Partners
  • Private universities and research centers
  • Government agencies


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3. Customer Centricity - “People First”

One of the most relevant open innovation trends is customer centricity. It’s crucial to understand customers and users and offer them personalized experiences. However, it isn’t that easy, because it deals with technology and the structure and mindset of the organization. In order to give customers what they want, you should use new resources such as Design Thinking, Service Design and User Experience Design, which generate meaningful cross-channel User Journeys and Predictive Analytics.

4. Evidence-Based Innovation

Evidence-based innovations (research findings with judgment) include Design Thinking, Customer Development/The Lean Start-up, Jobs-to-be-Done, Disruptive Innovation and Open Innovation. These research findings can be proven theories or new data. However, judgment is important for the pace and operation of the problem at hand. So, it’s crucial to make decisions based on the needs of the customers and the company and to mix and match diverse learning methods to meet demands.

5. Advantaged Networks

Business has become complex and new problems and opportunities are continuously arising. Cross-industry ecosystems like the connected care and smart home are becoming popular and are not ruled by competition. It isn’t about control for innovators, but inspiration. In order to be a part of these advantaged networks, you must network, but to win you must collaborate. These networks can also be applied to the future of open innovation—the world is a co-lab—sharing tasks and value.

6. Intra-VC’ing

In Intrapreneurship it’s always been about selling ideas, but now it is time to thinking about buying, being an intra-venture capitalist and investing corporate funds in external start-up companies. In order to adjust to the gross number of ideas from external sources and the diverse stages of development, companies should be shifting towards a distributed system of funding and support, instead of a one-size fits all method. This new approach complements the nature of ‘Intra-preneuring’ and requires an increasing degree of evidence to fund and support from:

  1. Internal Start-up Schools with micro-funding (desire to learn)
  2. Challenge or prize competitions (attractive opportunity)
  3. Manager angels and employee crowdfunding (proof of concept)
  4. Ad-hoc funding boards (accelerators) (product-market fit validation)
  5. Business unit & corporate funds (scalable business model)

The idea is to connect these into a cohesive structure in order to make risk-appropriate investments.

7. Extra-preneuring

Intrapreneurs are experiencing a transformation into complete change agents (Extrapreneur), who work towards the development of internal and external collaboration. Extrapreneurs should not only be self-motivated, courageous, possess networking skills, evidence-based methods and the ability to persuade, but also have the ability to gain the trust of their stakeholders. They need to act by looking for new opportunities, assembling teams, getting advice, developing customers and sponsors, co-creating with stakeholders, validating and selling.

8. Lean Start-up Approach

It is an approach for corporate businesses that entails experimentation, rapid incubation and fast failure that will enable your business to speed up the evolution of your problems and ideas. Your innovation team will focus on problem solving and also identify dead-end ideas immediately. Customer validation will also play a huge role in the process by testing ideas and concepts in the real world and checking their relevancy.

Are you ready to reskill?

Open innovation trends 2017 will include artificial intelligence, machine learning and other cognitive technologies that will transform organizations. It’s all about pushing boundaries. How will your organization reskill for the future? Are you co-creating for the evolution of your business?

The future belongs to open innovation organizations, who have the ability to constantly redesign themselves. If your company looks to combine its skills with those of others, the pace of your innovation will increase and you will generate new, more open, decentralized, high-powered and digital forms of management for the evolution of your business.

If you’re interested in see more trends and statistics related to these trends, check out our infographic.

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