What you'll learn

  • Understand the concept of open innovation and how it works

  • Analyze the types of problems that can be solved with open innovation and how to decouple problems from solutions

  • Identify and understand ​the challenges and ethical considerations of open innovation, such as intellectual property rights

  • Match your business problem to the right approach, contests, crowdsourcing, collaborative communities, or online labor market

  • Implement an open innovation strategy in your organization, including how to identify and access outside resources, helping you stay ahead of the competition

Course description

What do you do when your organization can’t solve a problem on its own? Are you paying for effort instead of solutions? Is your organization stuck?

Strategic problem solving is a key element in innovation and vital to an organization’s success and growth. Open innovation is a strategy that suggests the best ideas, solutions, and people necessary to solve your organization’s difficult problems may come from outside your company entirely. Through open innovation, organizations can connect with talented people and breakthrough ideas from across the globe. Whether you’re developing a new product, responding to the changing workforce, or simply looking for new ideas, you can use open innovation to find answers and solutions in areas you didn’t expect. 

Open innovation is already all around you. The top companies around the world have figured out how to use the wisdom of the crowd to help them create products and services that we use on a daily basis—from your smartphone apps to Wikipedia. This course presents a foundational understanding of open innovation, helping you not only solve some of your most difficult problems, but also gain access to a pool of talent that goes far beyond your organization's walls. By examining the different types of open innovation—contests, crowdsourcing, collaborative communities, and online labor markets—you’ll begin to develop a plan to adopt and implement open innovation in your organization. Through videos, real-world case studies, and peer interaction, you’ll explore when and why to implement new solutions, how to operationalize and protect proprietary ideas, and, most importantly, how to identify the problems you’re trying to solve and address them with open innovation. 

Your next big idea might come from where you least expect it. Don’t think behind closed doors. Let open innovation in.


Dorothy and Michael Hintze Professor of Business Administration

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9 weeks long
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