Google: The Four Types Of Open Innovation

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Introduction
Innovation is a new idea, business model or process developed or articulated as a result of a need to find better ways to serve the customer. Innovation is an effective use of a novel idea or practise existing either inside the firm or organization or outside it to improve the firms’ competitiveness in the global economy.
The concept of open innovation assumes that a firm can look at external and internal factors to improve its processes and technology. The central idea lies with regards to harnessing the knowledge available openly and being agile to adapt to market needs and serve the customers better. There are a few types of open innovation methodologies.

Types of Innovation
The concept of open innovation (Figure 1) assumes
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As we have seen above, inside-in innovation strategy is to develop organically yet provide the flexibility of working for a separate entity within a firm. Google’s Innovation time-off program allows its employees to spend 20% of their work time on projects that interest them and they think will benefit Google and its customers. Google can allow new ideas to turn into a profitable venture using its existing assets, market positioning, capabilities and resources. 3M started a similar model much earlier with 15% of time for on personal projects.
Why does Google practise the innovation time-off program? What are the benefits?
The program creates an entrepreneurial drive within its employees and given the vast amount of possibilities (with open interfaces) in Google’s platform, there are a lot of avenues to test and add value for Google. The implementation of new ideas is also much faster given the flat organization structure at Google. This setup breeds inside-in innovation. For instance if a Google employee has a great idea, she is empowered to take the idea to fellow Google engineers without having to clear it with some
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As a result, Google has been able to continuously create new products and enter new business areas.
While internal and external sources for open innovation provides with plethora of opportunities to innovate, the inside-in innovation method allows to leverage on the strengths of the company, use it as a podium to be able to pursue innovation of products and business models which are highly relevant to the open platform of Google.
Google does not have a baggage of hierarchy as it is a fairly young company (15 years) and the average age of Google employees is 29 years. A young, innovation oriented and change-prone management further strengthens Google’s position as an innovation powerhouse.
In accordance with the fast changing world and disruptive technologies, an inside-in or “intrapreneurial” approach to innovative technologies and business models provides Google the competitive edge which is imminent for the success of the
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