Posts Tagged ‘InnoCentive’

[Video Mondays] The Power of Open Innovation

July 26, 2010

Today’s digital media allow customers and partners of all kinds to partner with companies, and with each other, in incredibly dynamic ways.  These network collaborations may follow a number of different approaches.

One approach that has garnered a lot of attention is contribution systems, such as Wikipedia or Linux, where a great many participants each contribute a small piece to a large project (Wikipedia’s encyclopedia, or Linux’s operating system). But there are other successful models of network collaboration as well.

One of these is the open competition, wherein a network of participants is invited to each attempt their own solution to a defined challenge, with one or more “winners” selected for reward (money, fame, peer recognition, or combinations thereof).

InnoCentive has been a leader in this kind of collaboration. They have developed a global network of 175,000 of “solvers”—independent academics, graduate students, and experts in a variety of fields who are based in 175 countries and linked by the Internet. More than a hundred organizations, among them Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly, and the Rockefeller Foundation (called “seekers”), turn to InnoCentive’s network to tackle the toughest problems that have stymied their own research and development departments.

I was delighted to have InnoCentive’s CEO Dwayne Spradlin speak at this year’s BRITE ’10 conference on “The Power of Open Innovation.”

Below is a video of his talk in full. Enjoy!


If video does not appear, click here to watch it on

This post originally posted by David on the blog at:

Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch

March 15, 2010

Dwayne SpradlinIn talking with one of his clients about the barriers to open innovation within an organization, Dwayne Spradlin, CEO and President of InnoCentive, received a wonderfully insightful quote: “Culture eats strategy for lunch.”

As Spradlin told BusinessWeek (podcast), the right culture is essential to making open innovation work. When leadership supports it from the top, Spradlin believes that “people will be extraordinary.” If middle-management receives the necessary permission to be creative and come up with new ideas, they will be the ones who drive open innovation.

Founded in 2001, InnoCentive works with a wide range of businesses to develop incentive-based innovation challenges. Solutions are found by a community of problem solvers spread all around the world. From running these challenges and working with clients, Spradlin offers the following advice for organizations looking to tap the power of an open innovation system:

  • Make sure that you create an innovation challenge only for tasks that you intend to move forward on.
  • Ask the right question–think of a specific “what if” question that might result in a business advancement, rather than just posing general business problems.
  • Harness a group of “problem facilitators” with the skills to develop the right questions and evaluate the solutions to your innovation challenges. This will improve the efficiency of the rest of your company when it moves forward with innovative ideas.

To hear Dwayne Spradlin speak at BRITE ’10, register now.


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