Have you ever heard of recycling used plastic to form a new type of concrete? Or what about using grocery food waste to create energy that powers the grocery stores? These new businesses received seed funding and are already disrupting existing business models today.
The CEC did this by utilizing the principles of open innovation – rather than trying to come up with ideas to reduce air emissions, mitigate ocean acidification, etc. on their own, they opened up this type of problem solving to their entire network – specifically youth in this case. And that’s the way that they found truly novel solutions to long-standing problems.
This type of open innovation is being used by more and more businesses today. They’re either opening up ideation to their entire workforce, or going so far as to open up ideation to the entire world. But is it just good for new business ideas? Well, no. You can do lots of things, and here are just a few of the ways that you could run an open innovation challenge.
The real way that this will transform your organization, however, is in shifting your culture to one of openness, transparency, and collaboration. Where the challenges and successes are shared.
By Rob Hoehn
Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.