How Freelancers Can Spur Open Innovation

Innovation is vital for business growth, and companies are exploring internal and external sources of innovation to stay competitive in their industry.

Open innovation encourages staff to search for new ideas relevant to their market through relationships made among consultants, external partners, universities, research institutes, competitors and customers. A new study featured in Harvard Business Review examines how employees at IBM are generating innovative ideas by evaluating how they interact with their external and internal relationships.

The study found that employees who seek inspiration internally are just as innovative as those who seek innovation externally. However, overall, those who devoted time and resources to external partners were more innovative when they knew how to apply the ideas they incurred.

The study’s authors provided guidance for managers to encourage effective open innovation in the workplace.

1. Managers should avoid promoting networking for the sake of just networking and instead urge employees to strategically build networks inside and outside the organization to bring innovative ideas.
2. Managers should connect strong external networkers with more internally focused employees to foster open innovation.

Hiring an experienced freelance consultant allows companies to tap a resource that can be well-integrated into the company and business processes to create more valuable opportunities for open innovation. High quality freelancers evaluate and understand your company’s goals and bring ideas using their external perspective. In addition, a consultant can help employees bring innovative ideas to fruition, creating tangible results.

Canopy offers our clients experienced independent consultants that integrate with your team and help spur open innovation in your company. Contact us today to learn more: info@canopyadvisory.com or 720-989-1705.
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