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Open Innovation Results: Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 04 March 2020

Open Innovation Results: Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business. Henry Chesbrough. Oxford University Press (January 28, 2020)

About the book

The latest work from the originator of Open Innovation is his most ambitious yet: Henry Chesbrough not only addresses how companies can get real business results from innovation, but also how we can rebuild our innovation infrastructure to benefit society and spur long-term economic growth.

Chesbrough opens by exploring the “exponential paradox,” or the gap between the promise of exponential technology and the reality of economic productivity. We live in an age where lots of new technologies are emerging, yet global economic productivity is slowing and wages have stagnated. Has the promise of innovation been overhyped?

A closer look suggests that exponential technology advocates are paying too little attention to the importance of broad dissemination and absorption of new technologies. Too often, promoters of innovation look only at the initial stage of innovation development—chasing after bright shiny objects—and neglect the rest of the process. In order to advance prosperity, we must not only create new technologies, but must also disseminate them broadly, and increase our capacity to absorb them. The same is true for companies: they must generate, disseminate,and absorb innovation before they can really profit from it.

Rooted in two decades of field research and packed with real business examples, ​Open Innovation Results: Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business​ challenges companies to open up their knowledge flows to generate new growth. Moving beyond generation to broad dissemination and effective absorption is the key to getting past the hype that often accompanies innovation, and finding solutions that deliver real results to organizations, be they in the for-profit, non-profit, or public sector

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  • Most of the smart people work elsewhere
  • The world is our lab
  • Exploit knowledge through many channels
  • Leverage and profit from our IP
  • Startups can stimulate our innovation
  • Universities important for long term R&D


  • Most of the smart people work for us
  • The lab is our world
  • Hoard knowledge for ourselves
  • Use our IP to exclude competitors
  • Startups are weak and incapable
  • Universities unimportant to long term



Innovation Generation

  • Widen the intake
  • More eyes on the problem
  • Unusual sources for novel solutions
  • Useful knowledge is abundant
  • Expand downstream capacity

Innovation Dissemination

  • Open up internally
  • Open up externally
  • Reduce friction
  • Move people

Innovation Absorption

  • Train People
  • Complete the Solution
  • Align with BU’s
  • Align with Business Model



  • There is a paradox between the promise of exponential technology and the reality of economic productivity. We must make investments as a society in generating, disseminating, and absorbing the technology, if we are to resolve this paradox.
  • To get more business value from open innovation within companies, we similarly need to invest not only in generation, but also in dissemination and absorption within our organizations.
  • Too often we are distracted by the “bright shiny objects” of new technologies. What matters is not the innovations you start, but the innovations you finish. Only then do businesses reap the profits from their innovation, and only then does society realize the benefit as well.
  • There is a Valley of Death between the completion of a successful science project and the effective commercial use of a new technology. More open science will help, but we also need institutions to support risk-taking, capital investment, and intellectual property to cross the Valley of Death. There is a second Valley of Death inside large companies, between the front end of their innovation process, and the back end business units that take the innovations to market. Organizations need mechanisms to organize, fund, and staff projects to move them across this second Valley of Death.
  • Startups are an important resource for open innovation. Lean Startup processes have transformed the ways that startups do business. Large companies need to adopt these processes too. But the large company context differs from that of a startup. Just as it is a mistake to tell a small company to write a complete business plan like a large company, so too is it a mistake to tell a large company to act just like a small one. Lean Startup processes must be adapted inside a large company, if they are to succeed.

More about the book

Here you can read a free chapter of the book online

Here you can enjoy a webinar with the author of the book








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