Friday, March 29, 2013

The trouble with discourse on open innovation

Much of the discourse on innovation centers on the use of open innovation models. Firms set up innovation portals, often in the form of intra-enterprise social networking sites, and seek to incentivize employees to think about and articulate potential innovations. Mainly they hope for the best. Recent results suggest that this doesn't work particularly well. The best metaphor I can think of is that of shooting darts at a dartboard. If the board is pretty big, the bulls-eye pretty small, and the incentive to throw darts at it minimal, the chances of hitting something useful are pretty small too.