Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Business 2.0 - May 30 2003 - Outsourcing Innovation Apparently, Procter & Gamble (PG), have a goal to have at least half its new products originate from ideas generated outside the ranks of its employees.They tackle this target by going to companies that act as innovation marketplaces that work in a similar manner to Imaginatik's Event concept - using what is termed "Directed Ideation" (see Idea Flow White Paper). These sites allow companies to post challenges to scientists and innovators around the world and then pay them for the ideas they decide are worth while buying. IP issues are, I guess, avoided by a series of contracts between company and marketplace and scientist. The importance is to realise how important it is to broaden the ideation audience to take advantage of perspective changes and old knowledge amongst others. For example - companies are forever lamenting the loss of valuable experience and knowledge through retirements and other employee attrition events. Most of these employees would be more than happy to continue to help the corporations they left however. Just think of the awesome ideation potential that would be held in say, an alumni group for your company that you could run focused idea management events on. Customers and suppliers are other common "nodes" that could, and should, be tapped.