Thursday, 8 January 2009

BBC use the power of Open Innovation

just noticed the BBC Innovation Lab website...

the briefs online covers different apects of BBC as a media group, I checked out the Scotland part in particular and find the team's discussions have a really interesting diversity.

I am always facinated by any practice in Open Innovation, where innovation is no longer the privileges of couple of specialists in the R&D team in labs that fulled with tubes and expensive machines. Designers used to be - well often still are - one of these specialists, especially if you are from a industrial design background. As a profession that deal with creative tools and process at daily basis, designers now have new roles to play and new value to provide. For example, in many Open Innovation cases, designer's abilities to facilitate the ideas stimulation and to synthesis the outputs of innovation process can provid more value than simply being the creator of these ideas. On the other hand, it does become a challenge to ask designer to 'hand over' (or possibly share is a better word here) the right to be the creative one(s). I still remember coming across this saying of 'designers are designing themselve out of job by passing their skills to others' in the conversation with Lauren the other day, and we both think that the changing role of designer should be understood as an opportunity for designers to move up the value creation chain rather than a dangrous terrior we try to hide from. It creates more jobs at strategic level for our future designers.

The innovation is changing, in service or product, in private or public sector, with the emerging of new apporaches to innovate such as Open Innovation. It is not only the design practitioners who are developing, the people they design for/with is developing as well. Developing the ability of giving away 'the right to design' (at the right time) might be the next challenge to both pioneering practitioners and design students.

by the way... here arecouple of other groups that champion Open Innovation... might be helpful if you are interested:

IBM - an innovator with a dramatic history, also a big supportor behind the Service Science concept... after turning itself from a PC manufacturer to an IT solution consultancy in the early 90's, IBM is still cited as a classic example of business transform towards the New Economy. I guess it definitely has something to do with the non-stop exploratory of new ways of innovations in not only their business offering but also business strategies.

Microsoft - Microsoft's attempt to arranged a design contest for building the next generation PC...

Lego - Lego join the community of Open Innovation by launching the Lego Factory, a site that combines mass-customisation and open innovation together to allow kids design their own Lego toys.

Nike - NikeID started the trend of have customised fashion and sports products ordered online. Like Lego, a move that reflects the development of mass-customisation technologies.

NineSigma - the biggest Open Innovation community online...

InnoCentive - another open innovation community that takes research and development problems in a broad range of domains such as engineering, computer science, math, chemistry, life sciences, physical sciences and business, frames them as "challenge problems", and opens them up for anyone to solve them.

Just discovered an interesting
Book Project using an Open Innovation approach to get people involved in the creation of a business model innovation book by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur ... check it out to see if you'd like to contribute :)
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