Firms turn R&D on its head, looking outside for ideas [Boston Globe]
Citing the forthcoming book Outside Innovation by Patricia B. Seybold, a Boston high-tech consultant, the article highlights how “companies are shaking up their methods of bringing products and services to market. Among the outside parties they’re reaching out to: their own customers.”
“Through a process known as ”outside innovation,” companies are deputizing customers to help design new offerings, writes Seybold in her book.”
“Seybold, drawing on studies by Eric von Hippel, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, said forward-thinking businesses are setting up online forums to identify ‘lead customers’, those who are early adopters and passionate users of their products, and work with them to drive innovation.”
The article also quotes Navi Radjou, vice president at Forrester Research in Cambridge, whose new report last month Transforming R&D Culture revealed how companies themselves say that “their inflexible R&D processes weren’t keeping up with evolving customer needs”, and that “the insular mindset of research and development departments” are becoming “a barrier to innovation”.