I am pleased to share with you these few introductory words about my new book “From Open Innovation to Collective Intelligence”.
This book could not have been written without some biases and convictions.
As a whole, this book is decidedly practical. When the question of the definition of Open Innovation arises here, it is, above all, with a critical aim. Existing definitions often reflect more the interest of a particular researcher than the operational reality of the approaches of openness and collaboration. The aim will be to clarify some points that are often obscured by the publications that have been flowing since 2003, and to explain the links between OI and concepts and practices that are sometimes associated with it in a non-differentiated way. The first chapters serve as an introduction for those who do not yet have a thorough knowledge of the topic, but also present from the outset my point of view on how to define OI. Two elements are essential to my vision: comparing open organisations to closed organisations seems a cliché to me, and I believe we must think of openness as much internally as externally.
After this essentially descriptive introduction, Chapter 2 ‘Why Open Innovation?’ explains the fundamental reasons that are at the root of the long-term success of the approach, and particularly in the current economic context. All the stages of the book are interspersed by cases and actual testimonials. Some, like that of GoldCorp or P&G, are historical, traditional and known to insiders. However, most have been specially written for this book, with often the most recent being chosen. Together, they portray an image that I hope completes the subject. In Chapter 3, ‘Open Innovation: for whom?’, the paragraph entitled ‘What is the current status of the large French companies?’ zooms in on the state of the Large Groups/Start-ups relationship in France through the results of the Village by CA and bluenove 2017 barometer. Then it is important to address a big question: that of the type of business or organisation for which the approach is appropriate. It is not, in fact – perhaps with some exceptions – a question of sector of activity or size, but rather of culture. The role of OI for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is often disregarded and even considered as irrelevant to them, and examples are therefore also given to demonstrate its relevance.
The central part of the first part addresses Open Innovation by the methods that can be implemented, and the players involved. The presentation is structured around a reference framework of eight axes that relate to collaboration with both external and internal players. Again, case studies and testimonials play a vital role and methodological advice emerges therefrom. Chapter 5, which is particularly operational, shows the role of the various traditional players in the company (HR, IT, R&D, etc.) in setting up an Open Innovation approach, what each department can gain and how and when to best involve it. In Chapter 6, a projection into the attempts to identify the future trends of open innovation and, more broadly, the major management issues still unresolved by the Innovation departments.
In the introduction to the concept of massive and digital collective intelligence in Chapter 7, its methodological and technological dimensions and links to a new generation of metrics to manage human resources and talents within organisations are described. Also discussed are emerging technologies related to participative and deliberative democracy, called Civictech. The example of the Assembl methodology and platform is often repeated because Assembl is at the same time:
- an emblematic and innovative project resulting from a European Commission research programme on the issue of co-constructing a constitution;
- a platform with several million European citizens;
- a technological development in Open Source;
- a consultation tool referenced by the French goverment
Finally, Chapter 11 provides several examples of the ability of collective intelligence to change in scale in the way of addressing major societal issues. The conclusion discusses the emergence of a new form of lobbying on subjects exposed to strong regulatory changes.