I just read the McKinsey Quarterly’s just-published article, “What’s New in Open Innovation?” — it’s available online. Most of the article features an overview of what’s been going on in terms of businesses co-creating with customers and consumers. You know, “user-generated content” or “crowd-sourcing.” Sure, it includes some stale news, such as what’s been going on in Second Life. That this example seems so out-of-date a year after the media (BW included, of course) heralded it shows you how quickly what’s hot online, in terms of communities, can fade.
A rarely discussed area mentioned in the article, though, is worth some investigating: how B-to-B businesses are using co-creation. The example McKinsey gives is a brief nod to SugarCRM’s customer-relationship-management software, which the company’s clients customize.
Worth reading: the authors’ list of how-tos has some sage advice. Nuggets include the suggestion for establishing clear rules, such as making sure it’s evident who owns what in terms of a co-creation’s IP, and clear roles, in terms of asking certain groups to co-create a specific aspect of a product or service, rather than encouraging a chaotic free-for-all. These bits of advice could be some of the, well, clearest and most valuable guidelines for businesses looking to experiment more with the concept of “co-creation.”
What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.