The secrecy and silo mentality of innovation in the business world is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. After all, this is the innovation age. One practice  successful and innovative companies have in common is open innovation. Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are examples of companies that adopted this process of sharing ideas and knowledge with other organizations and individuals outside of the company. The power of collaboration is invaluable in business, and open innovation allows for more information to be gained so that decisions can be more educated and informed. Open innovation does not have to look the same for every company, but there are many benefits of this method that all businesses can enjoy. Here are 5 reasons to why your organization should adopt open innovation.

1. Reaching Larger Audiences

The audience size potential for open innovation is much larger, and nearly limitless, in comparison to closed innovation. More input is key for gaining more information and greater input. Inviting people outside of the organization to share their ideas can create a public buzz and expand the brand’s reach. However, larger participation can result in higher costs. This is important to factor into your strategy when creating a plan. Expanding your avenues for gathering input can also draw interest from professionals around the world. People with different backgrounds and expertise can provide even more valuable feedback.

2. Building a Community with Consumers

Whenever you involve customers in your process, it increases consumer engagement. One of the biggest benefits of open innovation is getting in touch with your fans. This is a great opportunity to get to know your customers, find out what they want, and deliver better products and services. Building a community with consumers increases their loyalty to your brand and makes them more motivated to provide valuable feedback. Nurturing these relationships builds a valuable dedication to your business. This increases the chances of fans sharing news about your products and services or providing positive testimonials about the organization.

3. Keeping Employees Engaged

Even in open innovation, employee feedback and ideas are important for successful innovation to take place. Boosting employee engagement is crucial for motivating them to share their ideas. Open initiatives bring employees together for planning the big picture. This big picture view helps them feel more connected to the company’s success and reveals the importance of their ideas. When employees feel more invested in company goals, they are more engaged and motivated, and as a result are willing to go the extra mile.

4. Customer R&D Involvement

In any innovation initiative, products and services should be designed to fulfill customer needs. Open innovation involves customers in the R&D process from the beginning so there is no guesswork in what those needs may be. Instead of waiting for feedback at the end of your production cycle, this provides instant feedback before the process even starts. Research is an important aspect of innovation, and this provides first hand results. Social media is a great way to collect insights and opinions about future or in-progress products. Consumers might suggest ideas that never would have been thought of by your workforce.

5. Opportunity for Lucrative Partnerships

Collaborating with other companies creates the potential for lucrative partnerships. This is especially possible for businesses that can benefit from the same intellectual property without direct competition. Organizations in the same market are not likely to cooperate with one another, but companies in related markets might be able to share the same information and technology with success. Partnerships develop more creative potential by sharing resources and ideas. Open innovation can generate interest from valuable talent or profitable businesses that might not have taken an interest in your business otherwise.

For organizations struggling with innovation costs or looking for ways to decrease their budget, open innovation can reduce traditional innovation costs. In such a fast-paced business world full of new technology, innovation can feel out of reach and hard to achieve. Collaborating with external organizations toward innovation goals can make initiatives more achievable and less costly. Getting started with open innovation or making your current efforts more streamlined is made easier with specialized software. To learn about Planbox’s Open Innovation Software, click here.