At the recent European Open Innovation Summit, I listened to a great presentation by Erik Hansen, Senior Director, Technology and Open Innovation at LEGO.
Here you get some of the insights that I liked from the presentation, which you can also view by yourself on this link: LEGO Open Innovation Presentation
Early on, LEGO established a taskforce with the aim of:
• Assessing the opportunities, needs, and benefits for introducing new practices of open innovation across The LEGO Group
• Defining what next practice would look like building on internal practice as well as insight from the best open innovation practitioners in the world
• Making a firm and evidence based recommendation on what and where the value could be, how this could be delivered and what would be needed to achieve this.
• Setting out a viable roadmap – based on how to move forward, balancing risk and rewards etc.
As Erik Hansen set out to learn more about open innovation, he focused on 3 elements:
• Learning from others for which LEGO conducted 12 interviews with leading open innovation companies.
• Learning from the LEGO group which was based on input from over 30 practitioners including 10 interviews.
• Learning by doing by setting up 4 micro pilots to test capabilities, culture and appetite.
Today, LEGO runs open innovation pilots in the production area (solving hard, “unsolvable” problems), on improving the LEGO core experience, on how to improve core HR processes and on an open innovation platform.
Erik Hansen shared some interesting quotes:
“People don’t have to work for us to work with us” internal LEGO quote
“Consumers of today are intelligent, they are creative and they have an opinion…and they expect you to listen” internal LEGO quote
“I am scared to look at external ideas because we don’t want to get sued.” Internal LEGO quote
“The problem with an innovation culture is that for most of the time and for most of the people you don’t really want one!” David Robertson, IMD
“All our radical innovations come from people who are not domain experts.” Orange Telecom
Erik Hansen also shared these goals for the open innovation program at LEGO:
…creativity from the few towards towards systematic creativity from the many
…select strengths put to play towards full potential realized
…succeeding together towards succeeding more together with more people
…a relatively closed culture towards a culture of openness
Erik, thanks for sharing your insights!