Are corporate foresight and open innovation related concepts?

We find, yes.

In a recent study in which we mapped open innovation instruments of Deutsche Telekom, we found that looking into the future, sometimes takes the form of a collaborative foresight exercise. You will see in our presentation or in the figure below that Deutsche Telekom engages in foresight workshops with suppliers to identify new market needs and emerging technologies.

The expected benefit from joint future exploration efforts is the possibility to use the perspectives of the different companies to assess a trend from different angles and thus reduce uncertainty. The figure below shows the entire portfolio of Deutsche Telekom’s open innovation instruments.

DeutscheTelekom's Open Innovation Instruments

This is thus another example of the phenomenon of collaborative foresight exercise, which we have discusse in an earlier post. We believe that we will see much more collaboration on foresight in the future and will continue to be on the lookout for good practices.

For more details on the Deutsche Telekom case see: Rohrbeck, R., Hölzle K. and H.G. Gemünden (2009) “Opening up for competitive advantage – How Deutsche Telekom creates an open innovation ecosystemR&D Management, 39(4), 420-430.

To see what other telecom operators do on open innovation visit Stefan Lindegaard’s blog post.

For deeper insights into open innovation we recommend the blogs of Joel West and Frank Piller.

One Response to “Are corporate foresight and open innovation related concepts?”

  1. Nico Thom

    In this regard I find a recent article of the Financial Times (November 18 2010, Business Life section, p. 12) on Open Innovation worth being mentioned. Following Chesbrough they present 3 stages of Open Innovation, the first one being “bring outside ideas into your own company”. Hence, one could argue that foresight could be a starting point for Open Innovation (independent from whether the foresight approach itself is colaborative or not).

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