Adding open innovation to your independent business might seem daunting if you are just starting down that path. It can even be scary. While you may be an expert in your field, brilliant at writing winning proposals, and have mad marketing skills, open innovation solving requires that and more. With all your professional accomplishments, stepping into this new arena can make you feel like a rank beginner (again).
“What would you tell an independent professional who wants to be an open innovation solver?
We asked highly successful open innovation solvers this question. Here’s what they wish they had known where they were starting out.
Set realistic expectations
Develop discipline in your search and pursuit of challenges, understanding that open innovation opportunities ebb and flow, and dry spells happen. In addition, remember that you will likely not receive much feedback on your submissions if any at all.
Dive in and keep swimming. Network with as many solvers as possible. This puts you in the company of others with whom you can share experiences and insights, and with whom you can team up when it makes sense to do so. Also, stretch yourself by pursuing challenges even if they don’t fall in your preferred industry or business sector.
Develop your creativity
Open innovation challenges are about going beyond the obvious solutions. They are great opportunities to ramp up your creative skills, hone your ability to make innovative connections, and generate ideas rapidly.
Prioritize skill development
Open innovation enhances problem-solving, critical thinking, and adaptability skills. These skills are often neglected in formal education. Open innovation is a valuable platform for honing skills that benefit all areas of life.
Embrace the journey
Don’t focus solely on winning, but on the process of exploration and learning. For many solvers, even the best ones, open innovation isn’t a significant source of income. Instead, they value the experience because it’s an opportunity to develop their “innovation muscles.”
NEVER give up!
And be bold—no holding back. There are a lot of great minds participating with you and you may not win at first. Keep trying!
What to find out more about open innovation? Visit MindSumo and check it out.