Not Invented Here, or NIH, is one of the fatigue factors identified in the book Conquering Innovation Fatigue, overcoming the barriers to personal and corporate success. The authors do a good job of articulating why and how individuals and teams afflicted with NIH syndrome can impose significant barriers to innovation. Even though the concept of open innovation has been a round for many years, NIH continues to be a challenge in many organizations.

Open innovation is actively leveraging the capabilities and expertise of others to accelerate innovation. In many companies, the logic that supports an internally focused approach to research and development has become outmoded. Too many companies say “no” to entrepreneurs and inventors, suppliers and even partners with innovative ideas that may be contrary to the thinking of internal resources. We understand that often times there are limited resources and funds for projects and not all projects require innovative solutions. But selecting all internally generated projects and projects that are more incremental in nature tends to lead to uninspiring business results. Some of this may be attributed to risk averse cultures but often times it is hidden under the guise of protecting the team or the corporation.

bored meetingLately, we have seen numerous companies take a “not now” approach. Rather than decide yes or no, they take a “let’s wait and see” attitude. This can lead external partners on for months and years. Sooner or later, the innovative ideas stop coming your way and your valued partners start working more with your competitors.

Useful knowledge and innovative solutions abound. For those companies that truly embrace open innovation, the sky is the limit. These companies have found ways to balance internal resources and leverage external resources to their advantage. This often leads to novel ways to create real business value. Learn what innovative companies are doing in Open Innovation at CoDev Asia 2014 and at CoDev 2015.

Pat Clusman the Chief Operating Officer at Innovationedge and he is a part of the CoDev 2015 conference planning team. Check out CoDev2015: Launching Products and Business with Partners, Customers & Ecosystems, to be held February 9-11, 2015 in Scottsdale, AZ.


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