Open Innovation Summit 2010 – Day One Wrapup

Open Innovation Summit 2010I’m currently attending the Open Innovation Summit 2010 organized by the World Research Group in Chicago – Key corporate presenters include Cisco, P&G, J&J, HP, Clorox, etc.

Key Learnings from Unilever:

For Open Innovation to succeed you need diverse teams with members that have seven key soft skills:

  1. Intrapreneurial skills
  2. Talent relationship building
  3. Strategic influencing
  4. Quick study
  5. Tolerance of uncertainty
  6. Balanced optimism
  7. Passion

Communication is a critical success factor/ element to make (open) innovation successful.

Clorox meanwhile is expanding Open Innovation efforts from Downstream to Upstream, through networks and communities:

  • Cultural fit is key success factor to create value together in Open Innovation
  • “Assessment of degree of difference” to decide to work on project/idea
  • Identify top three killer issues, risks to establish exit
  • Network Architecture important (technical/consumer/economical)
  • Leverage internal networks/build external
  • Networks Catalyze and Communities innovate
  • Network/Connect, Community/Create, Organization/Execute…
  • Using

Key P&G Learnings:

  1. Consumer is boss
  2. Wanting to reach more consumers
    • Open Innovation is complex
    • Teamwork across many more elements/groups
    • Organizational model: Vision/mission/strategy RROI
  3. Skills Required: Trust, Seamless Collaboration, Speed & Agility and Networking…
  4. Open Innovation only works when internal innovation is working well, its’ structured and sustainable
  5. We can create more value together than we ever could alone.

The latest P&G Connect & Develop initiative is a new (Ohio) statewide collaboration agreement and efforts between universities and P&G. (Universities working together and with P&G to develop and solve challenges)

LG’s Key Learnings:

  • Without the strong commitment of top management – Efforts will fail
  • Open Innovation should be integrated into the overall innovation strategy
  • Need systematic way to record external organization/technology information, and to manage and share it
  • You need an active IT System to make Open Innovation work
  • You must define needs/technology scouting/technology incubation/collaboration management
  • (10 broad themes, 29 specific needs – needs defined by bottlenecks)
  • It is important to define your needs correctly and to keep your initial screening process simple, fast and lean
  • The shift from closed innovation to Open Innovation is a long journey

Qualcomm’s Secret Sauce:

  • Combining online and off line collaboration techniques: collective intelligence and corporate entrepreneurship= collective entrepreneurship

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Robert F BrandsRobert Brands is the founder of, and the author of “Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival”, with Martin Kleinman – published March 2010 by Wiley (

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