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Innovating – how and why

Innovate or die. This is an (extremely) brief possible description of the condition of a great part (although not the whole) of Italy’s industrial system. It is no secret that there is a lack of innovation here, for many reasons, and it is necessary to understand the action to be taken in order to bridge the divide which separates us from industry which has instead made innovation its strong point. Starting for example from the concept of “open innovation” as coined by Henry Chesbrough, whose book Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape was recently published in Italy.

Chesbrough is executive director of the Center for Open Innovation and professor at the Haas School of Business of the University of Berkeley in California. Above all he has succeeded in merging theory and practice in order to provide new guidelines for managers and businessmen.

Open innovation, therefore, i.e. the idea whereby, in a world where the sources of knowledge are increasingly distributed and diffused, good opportunities have to be grasped outside of the company in order to drive growth. In other words, according to Chesbrough, businesses of all sizes have to learn how to manage a process of innovation “open” to outside stimuli, capable at the same time of exporting those ideas which internally would not be put to good use. Obviously however tools and examples are needed in order to move from theory to practice.

This is exactly what Chesbrough explains in his latest opus. Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape  – 280 pages in the Italian edition – contains two things: a series of useful tools for understanding the hurdles and risks of the “process of opening” of a company to innovation and a series of examples of firms who have already gone down this road. Thus there is mention of CR Firenze, Ferrovie dello Stato and SIA/SSB (which received an innovative boost from the change of some executives in Europe) or of Intesa Sanpaolo (forced to change by the change in the company structure) and also Almaviva, Elsag and Xerox (which innovated, sharing the risks with customers) and small firms like EDRA and Loccioni (which changed in order to stand apart from and compete with companies much bigger than them). Other cases discussed are those of STMicroelectronics, Fiat, Brembo and Tiscali, and Finmeccanica.

A book therefore to be read from cover to cover, and put into practice, starting from the unique features of Italian firms.

Open. Modelli di business per l’innovazione

Henry Chesbrough

Egea, 2013.

Innovate or die. This is an (extremely) brief possible description of the condition of a great part (although not the whole) of Italy’s industrial system. It is no secret that there is a lack of innovation here, for many reasons, and it is necessary to understand the action to be taken in order to bridge the divide which separates us from industry which has instead made innovation its strong point. Starting for example from the concept of “open innovation” as coined by Henry Chesbrough, whose book Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape was recently published in Italy.

Chesbrough is executive director of the Center for Open Innovation and professor at the Haas School of Business of the University of Berkeley in California. Above all he has succeeded in merging theory and practice in order to provide new guidelines for managers and businessmen.

Open innovation, therefore, i.e. the idea whereby, in a world where the sources of knowledge are increasingly distributed and diffused, good opportunities have to be grasped outside of the company in order to drive growth. In other words, according to Chesbrough, businesses of all sizes have to learn how to manage a process of innovation “open” to outside stimuli, capable at the same time of exporting those ideas which internally would not be put to good use. Obviously however tools and examples are needed in order to move from theory to practice.

This is exactly what Chesbrough explains in his latest opus. Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape  – 280 pages in the Italian edition – contains two things: a series of useful tools for understanding the hurdles and risks of the “process of opening” of a company to innovation and a series of examples of firms who have already gone down this road. Thus there is mention of CR Firenze, Ferrovie dello Stato and SIA/SSB (which received an innovative boost from the change of some executives in Europe) or of Intesa Sanpaolo (forced to change by the change in the company structure) and also Almaviva, Elsag and Xerox (which innovated, sharing the risks with customers) and small firms like EDRA and Loccioni (which changed in order to stand apart from and compete with companies much bigger than them). Other cases discussed are those of STMicroelectronics, Fiat, Brembo and Tiscali, and Finmeccanica.

A book therefore to be read from cover to cover, and put into practice, starting from the unique features of Italian firms.

Open. Modelli di business per l’innovazione

Henry Chesbrough

Egea, 2013.