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Innovation Leadership: A Conversation with Henry Chesbrough

Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation and professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, defines what it means to work within a culture of open innovation and offers up his thoughts on the roll services will play in the future.

Karen Crocker Snell
December 21 , 2011

Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation and professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, defines what it means to work within a culture of open innovation and offers up his thoughts on the roll services will play in the future. Chesbrough is the author of several books about innovation, his latest is "Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era."

Full Transcript

I'm Karen Snell on the campus of the University of California Berkeley, arguably one of the finest public institutions in the world and a wellspring of innovation. I'm here to talk with Henry Chesbrough, professor, author and father of open innovation.

Open innovation is the idea that you can't do all of these things from the journey of laboratory to the market by yourself, and indeed, you can be more effective and more efficient if you open up your innovation process to do 2 things. First, make more use of other people's ideas and technologies in your activities. And second, let the unused activities you're doing, that aren't going to go forward inside your organization, go out for others to use in their activities.

Innovation and the Economy

I think for many companies, unfortunately, they look at innovation as a luxury good. We all like it, but in tough times we have to make priorities and choose things that we can do without. Often, innovation becomes one of those. So my advice to these companies is to prune the innovation investments, but don't cut them all the way back and pull out the roots. Keep the capability alive even as you reduce the spending. Innovation and Services I really think services are increasingly important for companies in many industries, even companies that traditionally think of themselves as product-based companies What we learn in services, is that customers have to be involved intimately throughout the process. They're not simply at the end of the process, they are very actively engaged throughout the process.

Making Innovation Stick

You can't give the job of innovation to your purchasing organization and tell them go buy me some innovation. You really have to engage and participate and collaborate between your smart people and the other smart people that are out there to get the most out of all these ideas. And the skill that's going to really make this valuable for you is the ability to put together the internal activities you've got with the external knowledge and activities you access into new systems, new architectures and new solutions that solve real customer problems before other people have done it. ...in a world of open innovation.

More Information

UC Berkeley Open Innovation Program

Open Innovation Community

Related Tags: Innovation

 
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