Wednesday, April 11, 2007

FAST Company on Open Innovation and Collaboration

"Many [big companies] will survive, but they'll need to reinvent themselves to participate fully in this new interconnected, networked, decentralized world. Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) recently deployed 70 "technology entrepreneurs" around the world to look for "not invented here" ideas. It has figured out that for every one of its 7,500 in-house scientists, there are 200 more around the globe--some 1.5 million total--who are just as advanced. Ideas flowing the opposite way can have disruptive power too: Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), the old-line maker of heavy equipment, now sees itself as an "intellectual-property company." It has begun to aggressively license its copyrights and 7,000 patents to unlock their value.

Those are promising strategies. The more a company opens itself up to engage with the outside world, the better its chances. In this new era, scale won't guarantee viability in the face of massively interconnected customers, suppliers, and competitors. But all of those scientists and employees can do amazing things if they connect with what's happening outside your walls. John Nike won't know what hit him." via Allan Deutschman's article in Wired

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