With the economy softening, it’s tempting for companies to turn off the lights and shut the door on innovation efforts until things pick up. But while this might look like a smart move, the impact—lost momentum, team dispersion, and wasted investments—is less than desirable.
It doesn’t have to be this way. One of the best options for recessionary times, and, some would argue, even in expansive times, is to join forces with another entity with complementary innovation goals. Open innovation is about connecting with others to find new ideas and, often, to co-develop and co-market them.
There are many examples of successful open innovation efforts today. Some take the form of pan-industry innovation networks that share in the risks and rewards of their findings. Others are straightforward co-development projects between strategic players.