Workero is excited to announce that we are partnering with EI4I (Ecosystem Intelligence for Innovation) and 42Collective to enhance the effectiveness of Ecosystems in order to help our clients achieve even greater successes!
Just like Workero, EI4I and 42 Collective are committed to facilitating collaborative innovation. Together, our vision is to create a one-stop service for corporations to help them with their Innovation Ecosystems. We believe that ecosystem innovation will ultimately help us to overhaul complete value chains to address today’s societal challenges.
Yet, we are also aware that different companies have different innovation needs and approaches. That is why we are committed to meeting our clients where they are: whether you’re just starting on your Open Innovation (OI) journey, or if you already have experience with Open and Ecosystem Innovation.
What we do
While Workero’s strength is establishing and fostering ecosystem communities, EI4I has perfected the process of both assessing innovation needs and drawing up recommendations for companies that still need to figure out what their ecosystem will look like, and 42Collective is specialised in assessing companies’ innovation readiness, increasing your innovation capacity, and assisting you with your innovation strategy and even business model.
Openness and collaboration flow in our veins, and it is, therefore, no surprise that the three parties have come together to embody this in our own partnership. We truly believe that everyone benefits when we share our expertise and experiences.
It’s easy to speak about Open Innovation and Innovation Ecosystems in theory. However, implementing it in practice has its challenges. Let’s take a closer look at the variables that can affect what an Open Innovation ecosystem looks like, the four levels of Open Innovation readiness, and how companies can make Open Innovation a reality.
Open Innovation Ecosystems: what needs to be in place
In theory, Open Innovation and Innovation Ecosystems are easy concepts to understand. However, as in nature, no two ecosystems will function exactly the same. Practice is always more complex than theory.
When opening an innovation ecosystem, one needs to determine:
- -How often do actors need to interact (once-off, periodically, or ongoing);
- -The timing of interactions (proactive vs reactive);
- -What resources or content will cross boundaries (such as information, ideas, IP, employees, workspaces, laboratories, innovations, money);
- -The relationships between actors (strong versus weak, formal and controlled, or informal and left up to chance);
- -What kind of interactions will the ecosystem rely on: ranging from “transactional, based on contracts and formal rules, or more social, based on trust, power, and engagement.”*
- -How teams or actors will decide on the innovation leads to pursue, and which to leave;
- -What information technology platform to use that will provide the necessary infrastructure through which the multiple parties can connect and collaborate*
- -And who will be in charge of actively managing the innovation ecosystem (this person or team needs to ensure the success of the ecosystem and their KPIs need to be tied to the success of the ecosystem).
The above list, although a good starting point when considering entering into an Open Innovation ecosystem, is by no means an exhaustive list.
The four levels of Open Innovation readiness
In addition to determining the organisational mechanisms of the Open Innovation Ecosystem, one needs to evaluate whether a company is indeed ready for Open Innovation. There are four levels of Open Innovation readiness displayed by a company:
Level 1: The focus is on strengthening internal connections and in-house innovation.
Level 2: Limited external innovation; usually only with suppliers or via hackathons.
Level 3: Internal and external innovation projects; usually collaborates with scale-ups.
Level 4: Part of/host of a fully open ecosystem; collaborative innovation is preferred.
Based on a company’s Open Innovation readiness level, they can then go on to seek the necessary help or make the necessary changes to incorporate more and more Open Innovation.
Making your Innovation Ecosystem a reality
Whether a company is at level one or four of Open Innovation readiness, Open Innovation requires diligence and a diverse set of experts in a broad range of fields.
That is why Workero, EI4I, and 42Collective - as three companies that specialise in different, as well as overlapping areas of Open Innovation - offer a range of services and experts to meet you where you are. Together, just as in an ecosystem, we complement each other’s areas of expertise in order to best help our clients succeed at setting up and enhancing the effectiveness of their Open Innovation programmes or ecosystems.
Ank van Wylick from 42Collective writes:
“Our collaboration feels naturally geared towards two words: the right. Our collaboration is about:
- -The right capabilities: from Open Innovation, Physical and Digital workspaces to concrete Innovative Dealmaking.
- -The right experiences joined up: corporate, startup, and consultancy experiences.
- -The right focus on the right customer needs: addressing evident pains and gains.
- -The right team: Nice people to work with, willing to dare, share and be fair.
- -The right spirit: we all love working on practical execution in a result-oriented way.”
John van der Linden - Founding partner of EI4I, writes the following about ecosystems in general, and the partnership between Workero, 42 Collective, and EI4I:
“Just as a team that is good with a hammer will see nails everywhere, you can already predict what their plan of action will be. I believe that together with Workero, EI4I and 42Collective, we bring a full toolkit with a broad set of tools to the problem, and we have the skills to recognize what tool is best under which situation, and hence what to do next.
Net, I believe the hammer in our joined toolkit is just as good as it was before, but it no longer has to become the default setting. We don’t try to turn every problem into a ‘hammerable’ problem. Instead, we bring broad expertise to get the best possible solution for the client.”
And Marieke Sopers, Innovation Manager at Workero writes:
“Being able to support our clients even better is central to this partnership. Through the complementary offering of Workero, 42Collective and EI4I we are able to put this into practice and in helping companies take a step forward in their innovation journey.”
If you want to find out more about getting started with Open Innovation, would like an evaluation of your OI readiness, or if you’ve encountered challenges with implementing and sustaining Open Innovation at your company, follow this link and we’ll get in touch with you.
Open innovation - although not always easy to implement - is not only a worthwhile but necessary endeavour for companies to survive. The best part is that being a part of an Open Innovation ecosystem is also extremely fulfilling, rewarding, and meaningful since it connects different parties (that might previously have operated completely disconnected from each other, or might even have been competitors) in a bigger network with a joint purpose. Nothing is as satisfying as working together for something great: and that is why Workero, EI4I and 42Collective are thrilled to help you, wherever you are in your Open Innovation journey.
Read more about us here:
Click here to get in touch with us.
*Remneland-Wikhamn, B. and Wikhamn, W., 2013, “Structuring of the Open Innovation Field”, Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 173-185 (p. 180).