Is open innovation way too open?


The ideal of open innovation has led organizations to invest blindly in programs relying on the law of large numbers to eventually bring great ideas in between the crowd. However, innovation managers are focusing on establishing boundaries for open innovation. What can seem like a paradox – limiting the “open”- leads to higher idea conversion and more resources for testing. In 2022 try “focused innovation”.


The openness of open innovation comes from the fact that corporates are “open” to new markets, they are “open” to share their reality and typically “open” to collaborate.


This ethos established a new way of innovating and organizations have adapt to run initiatives of open innovation since around 2010. Relying in the ecosystem, corporates expected to innovate based on a crowdsourcing effect of opening themselves to the new solutions.


However, the outcome is not a great inflow of perfect fit ideas and organizations struggle to:

· Engage internal teams in the process to guarantee the necessary commitment,

· Incorporate external innovation considering internal timings and developments,

· Convert ideas into tangible opportunities, leading to a continuous spray on different directions.


Overall, open innovation is pushed for the marketing department as a brand tool and loses internal trust.


Now, Innovation Managers are becoming focused on rebuilding trust in the innovation process, and the key word is Focus. Focus is not a step back in the sense of readopting a top top-down innovation approach in which the board decides innovation, but balancing openness with guidelines.


The vision is: internal teams must be open, not only the organization, but also the individuals.


The objective is to empower teams, showing them what is happening abroad, how startups are innovating, what frameworks can be used and that they can trust in the innovation process.


The advantage of having internal teams more prone to work with ecosystem is that you can faster understand fit of an idea, but also commit from day 0 a team to the execution of the idea.


Focused innovation is not to become a buzz word but represents the effort to balance the openness with a curated approach.


At Fintech Solutions we have worked with our partners to conduct two main changes to their innovation process.


On the one hand, gain trust in the innovation process, building more consistent gates of innovation and strongly betting on capacity to run proofs of concept.


On the second hand, supporting smart scouting exercises. The research of relevant startups or best practices is relevant on a first stage to stimulate internal teams to innovation opportunities, but also to procure the best partners to propose solutions to identified challenges.