Open Innovation: Book Review

Open Innovation Book Review

Open Innovation: New Product Development Essentials from the PDMA (Book Review)

Charles Noble, Serdar S. Durmusoglu and Abbie Griffin

Originally published: 2015 (PDMA Visions Magazine Issue 1, 2015 • Vol 39 • No 1)
Read time: 6 minutes

Product innovation processes have not always been hard walled. They haven’t always shunned outside input or jealously guarded against leaks to the outside world. For example, back in 1714, the British government offered a prize to anyone who could develop a practical method to determine ships’ precise longitudes.

Over the last several years, we have tried to get back to this model, and poking holes in the walls of innovation processes has gained tremendous momentum, primarily thanks to Henry Chesbrough, who championed the “open innovation” concept, which called on firms to intentionally embrace both internal and external parties in their quest to develop successful new products.

Our new book “Open Innovation: New Product Development Essentials from the PDMA” fills a crucial gap in this space, providing managers tasked by a well-intentioned CEO to explore this “open innovation thing” with a reference tool that calls upon the experience of experts in the field. Readers will find clear, usable tools and ideas to implement the principles of open innovation in their firms. The collection of chapters in this book will inspire managers to “shake up” their own approaches to maximize their firm’s innovation potential.

The book starts by offering insights into the essential tools for open innovation during the discovery phase, frequently referred to as the fuzzy front end of product innovation. In this section, the authors describe four different stages of “open” foresight workshop designs for collaborative opportunity identification, as well as what steps you can take to open your firm’s foresight processes. In another chapter, authors introduce tools for patent analysis that you can use for technology mapping and subsequently for identifying the right co-development partner.

To implement open innovation in the development stage, our authors provide insights into incorporating customers online and leveraging the wisdom of a firm’s employees by implementing prediction, preference and idea markets. Other authors show how to employ visual thinking techniques when your employees are partnering with experts outside of your firm, so that they achieve a smooth, tacit knowledge transfer.

A dedicated section on collaborating with universities describes how some schools have developed more than 1,000 concepts in the last decade with partnering firms, both small and large sized, through cross-disciplinary courses. Readers will learn specific activities and methods to follow in such partnerships. The book concludes with chapters that portray best practices and advice for open innovation, such as a section in which the executives of a small firm reveal the lessons they learned during successful open innovation collaborations over the last couple of decades.

About the Authors

Charles H. Noble, PhD, is the current chair of PDMA. He is also Proffitt’s Professor of Marketing and director of the marketing Ph.D. program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Serdar S. Durmusoglu, PhD, is an associate professor of marketing at the University of Dayton. He also serves on the PDMA Academic Committee and has co-chaired the PDMA Research Forum. His research mainly focuses on the effects of information technology on new product development, new product development decision making and the open innovation practices.

Abbie Griffin, NPDP, PDMA’s VP of Publications, holds the Royal L. Garff Endowed Chair in Marketing at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, where she teaches the first year core MBA Marketing Management course and MBA second year marketing electives.

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