Thanks to all of you who came to CoDev2015 last week in Scottsdale! It was a truly collaborative and forward-thinking gathering of innovators, with an extraordinary amount of knowledge and willingness to share. We came away with many new insights, and we greatly appreciate everyone’s openness.

As Rosemary Pennington of J.M. Smucker Company, put it “the networking was extremely beneficial…we shared with peers and competitors in a non-threatening way, became each other’s coaches and mentors in the process. There were roughly 15 different presenters and I came away with at least 1 Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.45.05 PMnugget from each, so I got 15 nuggets. Most conferences I get one—total. CoDev was well worth my time and investment.”

For those of you who missed it, I’d like to share a brief recap of the highlights and invite you to join us next year.

Throughout the three-day event, we discussed the key OI success factors for today’s global business climate — from strategic alignment, culture, processes, and impact measures to managing collaborative networks and creating healthier ecosystems.

We learned:

Strategy: It is critical to have a clear ‘need’ definition process, with a prioritized list of scoutable needs aligned to business strategy. Needs must be written for both confidential and non-confidential use.

Culture: Leverage early ‘wins’ to drive change. Involve cross functional perspectives early on. Be sure to include HR, Legal and Procurement. Use a trial and scale-up approach to build capabilities. Communicate often, both internally and externally.

Processes and Tools: Tools and processes are enablers, not an end in themselves. Implement a flexible process from need identification into your stage-gate development process. Establish market potential and feasibility assessment criteria, approval & funding checkpoints, and pathways for dialog. Monitor and adapt as needed.

Ecosystems: Having “know-who” is far more effective than just having “know-how,” and new channels yield new solutions. But that’s not enough. Finding and implementing new solutions requires thoughtful planning, communication and willingness to take risks. Collaborative networks are more dynamic and interconnected than traditional hub & spoke structures. –

We then integrated our learnings and mapped out action steps to apply back at our organizations. Overall there was a positive energy among the 130+ participants — that Open Innovation has reached a turning point which will result in much higher returns going forward. Steve Franz, VP Global R&D,Rich Products summed it up: “Since the last time I attended ten years ago, an amazing transformation has taken place. Back then the discussion was around barriers preventing Open Innovation from happening. Now we have figured out how to manage the barriers and have success stories. We are getting into the value proposition.”

The future of OI looks bright indeed and we hope you will join us at CoDev 2016 in sunny Scottsdale next winter. Watch our website, LinkedIn group and Facebook page for news and updates.




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