People outside a sector can demonstrate more inventiveness when it comes to thinking up innovative solutions.
The less you know about a sector, the more likely you are to come to it with a fresh eye and original ideas. Someone on the edge of a sector of activity is more likely to think unconventionally, because they are not burdened by the thought processes and rules prevalent in that sector.
When you try to resolve a problem or come up with a new concept, it is therefore worth approaching as many people as possible, including people outside the company’s sector, not just experts in that sector. Why not involve customers, giving them prototypes or asking their opinion?
The principle of open innovation
To generate new ideas and turn them into innovations, a company can open up the research process to external players, rather than remaining closed in on itself. This is the principle of open innovation. According to Henry Chesbrough from the University of California, Berkeley, in the era of the internet and the free distribution of knowledge, companies will be more able to manage their own inventions if they integrate ideas, products and patents which come from outside the company. The following table summarizes the differences between the principles of closed innovation and open innovation: