This post is a guest contribution of Diana Sanchez, Director of Human Capital DSB (http://www.dsbcapitalhumano.com/).
I recently attended a talk by Francesco Sandulli on open innovation and after listening to him I think we have major challenges as Human Resources professionals. The boundaries within our organizations are certainly acting against companies’ efforts to adapt to their environment. The proposed model aims to make these limits permeable so that we can use resources that can be developed in collaboration with third parties. We can also share our resources with a number of actors in order to optimize them. For example, open a large number of patents that we have no resources to develop properly. Decide which resources are shared, how, who or how many, does make the difference between an efficient open model or just another old business fashion.
The rules are changing, and even collaborate with competitors can sometimes have more value than ignoring or fighting them. The proliferation of partnerships refines the concept of competition among businesses and enhances the relationships between organizations. There are plenty of ways to implement the open innovation model. One is integrating in an easy and efficient way ideas into our environment thanks to intermediaries such as InnoCentive and Innoget. There are tools for crowdsourcing like those used by civicbanking. Or some organizations use of focus groups. The key is to connect people, ideas, projects, resources, interests. The shape and the filter are given by our capacity to attract, absorb, develop. A brilliant example of open business model is that of El Bulli and I recommend reading the article written by Henry Chesbrough and Francesco Sandulli “Open Business Models: The Two Faces of Open Business Models,” http://ubr.universia .net/pdfs_web/UBR002200912.pdf, on which the talk was devoted.
In my opinion, the model of Open Innovation requires a change in the management of Human Capital according to a new way of working. One of the keys when integrating external knowledge into the organization is to avoid the NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here), a rejection of the organization for anything that does not come from an internal source, and can compromise the success of the model . The organization must cultivate a climate accustomed to change and uncertainty, the culture, like the model, should be open and permeable.
As far as Human Capital and Knowledge Management is concerned, I wonder if we’re ready for this wave that rides upon us, to learn to understand not only the model but knowing how to find the solutions that companies demand when they ally with others. To be actively involved in developing new tools for HR-because we identify as “the use” will become obsolete -it is a fact that we must reinvent our work. From this talk with F. Sandulli emerged an interesting challenge: could we give out our managers to work temporarily in small external projects and that this activity can serve as a tool to retain talent? We would then face a new development policy and retaining talent, and to a change in the profile of HR professionals and managers not only individuals but also as a dynamic exchange of knowledge, permeability and open culture. Above all these new fronts, we are certainly obliged to reinvent our way as our environment is marking the diection.