The new buzz of 'open innovation networks'

Laurence Knight

'Open networks', the latest buzz in innovation, is transforming how companies develop new product and service ideas by creating a network of innovation partners outside the traditional organisation. But, still central to 'upstream' innovation, and where open networks have not been proven, is 'connecting' directly with consumers to generate insights that can identify 'where to play'.


In a recent IBM survey, CEOs in media-telecoms and petrochemical companies said they now source more than 50% of their ideas from outside the organisation. Through its 'connect and develop' model for innovation, P&G claims that more than 35% of its new product ideas now come from outside the company (up from 15% in 2000); and 45% of the initiatives in its product development portfolio have key elements that were discovered externally.