What can be gained by adopting a more open innovation ecosystem approach?

As we recognise and push out through more open networking and relationships, we are opening up to new learning. We sharpen our minds and attain smarter resources as this exposes ‘us’ to new fields of expertise and knowledge that we can absorb and translate into new innovation opportunities.

As we connect and integrate this learning, we are all becoming co-creators that can arrive at different insights,  defining and shaping potential. By reaching out, we operate differently, we become more engaged and open.

Let me offer four connecting themes that are shifting our ways to operate and innovate, that provide a far greater set of dynamics by ’embracing’ an ecosystem collaborative design approach.

Figure 1: What can be gained by adopting a more open innovation ecosystem approach?

A winning design that is aspirational, giving freedom to explore

  • The shifting of critical capabilities can allow a higher level of freedom to explore,  creativity and thinking. The combining of new connecting and networking skills, collaborative tools, and a growing understanding of challenging the existing business models and orthodoxies is increasingly ‘on the table’ to move around differently. The understanding levels of empowerment are not just handed down they are sought out based on delivery and collaboration. There is this understanding of longevity and duration that are under increasing pressure. To overcome this, we need to be ready to ‘embrace’ diversity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity to become more dominating today in our top of mind. We simply “don’t freeze,” we need to explore and figure it out, there are far better positions to manage increased volatility and uncertainty. It is less about clarifying the ‘essence of organising’ and encouraging self-organising, adaptive resources to ‘given’ situations or breaking opportunities and rapidly explore these in execution and new design delivery.

Providing a nimbleness, offering greater navigating skills

  • We have a very different evolving set of enterprise capabilities emerging. We are working increasingly in value webs where resources are far more fluid in their makeup. We are more flexible (or should be) in moving our limited resources to tackle the pressing problems and then disperse into new shapes to tackle the next one. These new adaptive infrastructures are growing in nimbleness and navigation skills, it is more agile, iterative, continually experimenting, and focused on execution and learning quickly to adapt and adjust to this new understanding. The emphasis is on the speed of development, continuously experimenting, exploring, and validating, checking on what is contributing to value creation and improved experience.

Liberating the potential, exploring new pathways

  • Inside most of our organisations, there is a need to liberate the potential. Employee’s hunger to tackle complex problems as that is the world we live in. If only they were given more encouragement and resources to explore and connect ideas and turn them into winning solutions. It opens up greater possibilities. We need to push in far more progressive ways to manage innovation; in its design and thinking. We need to find imaginative ways to unleash this ‘latent’ energy by tasking them to break down these problems into ‘boxes of emerging understanding’ that they can be recombined, explored and validated to show a different pathway and business model design. We can combine and share far more today as we have the collaboration tools to do the job and the visual thinking techniques to break out of existing mindsets.

Transforming our world, sharing and combining

  • I always thought the business need was about seeking growth , establishing new competitive positions yet this seems not the same today; we need to get back to this positive attitude in what we do. Today business is trying to steer a safe course, to actually “hold the course.” However, the storms need to be confronted as we recognise the inevitable need, a necessity that change is actually where they are heading irrespective, they need to embrace change and all it means as early as they can. The need for transformation and disruption beckon as technology and the digital need are forcing a very different world upon us, of platforms and ecosystems. It is becoming easier to build and rapidly scale business, to get access to money and investment if the business model shows real emerging potential. Many entrepreneurs are investing their time and energy into hyper challenges, ready to cut across boundaries, traditions, and accepted practices. Today’s winning design is full of speed, scale, and scope, connecting into sharing this with the customers and different partners by combining forces and solutions that provide connection experience. There is a need to face up to change, not merely just ignoring it, and that requires ’embracing’ transformation.

To think and design with a world of innovation ecosystems alters your perspectives and opens up more possibilities to grow and create value

We learn far more about “where to play”, “how to play,” and more importantly, “how to win”. The art of learning and exploring is recognising the possibilities; we do get closer to harnessing creativity and latent intelligence.

We can develop far greater critical thinking as we connect and learn to collaborate in any ecosystem design. We gain more facts, or we can find them quicker in tapping into our network. We can tackle complex problems with a diversity of connected minds, we can refine our judgment and decision-making on the experimentation and exploring we do, and finally, we can become far greater active listeners.

Innovation ecosystem design helps us move forward in new, exciting, and purposeful ways.