Innovation Networks: Looking for Ideas Outside the Company

In Innovation Networks: Looking for Ideas Outside the Company, an interview of Knowledge@Wharton with Ex-Procter & Gamble vice president of knowledge and innovation Larry Huston explains the deeper rationale behind innovation networks:

[…] future competitive advantage will depend on “innovation networks” – individuals and organizations outside a company that can help it solve problems and find new ideas for creating growth. […] how innovation networks function, the ways they can be nurtured, their potential downsides and the impact they will have on how firms bring products to market.

He also offers a frank perspective on the global hunt for creative talent, making it clear that companies need a clear and open approach to open innovation, when word of mouth gets around quickly:

Innovators, they want information. They want transparency. They want quick speed and “get back to me quickly.” They want a fair deal. And frankly, the word-of-mouth and advocacy networks are very rapid. OK? Because these people all move in the same circles. They all talk amongst each other as we do. So, you have to really think through what is your innovation brand? What do you stand for in terms of branding yourself in this global competition for talent?

And yes, Open Innovation is in many ways a “strategic hybrid”, as you have to balance this openness with “closedness”, aka customized protection of intellectual property, where necessary.

Besides the transcript there’s also a mp3 of the interview.

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